It was my neighbor Mullein's 7th birthday this past week. Mullein has been such a sweet blessing in our lives. She has Down Syndrome and slight autism, and because of this is a little different than some of the other little ones around the neighborhood.
One of her greatest gifts is her constant state of living in the present moment. She is never thinking about the future or doesn't seem to dwell on the past. She has one of the softest, most gentle spirits I have ever known. We celebrated her birthday at her house with a cupcake bar. Even though she doesn't care for cake-like food, she greatly enjoyed a giant plate of vanilla ice cream. For the first time she was excited to blow out her candles and she sang the birthday song along with everyone.
I recommend the book "Expecting Adam" for a deeper look into the world of living with someone with Down Syndrome. It is an easy read about a family who has a boy with Downs. They come to learn that a lot of his qualities that are seen as slow or retarded are in fact blessings in disguise. It is a great book.
Here is the birthday painting I made for Mullein. She is named for the soft rabbit-ear looking plant Mullein. I also painted a hummingbird because when Meredith was pregnant with her Hummingbirds were always around her. Mullein acts like a little hummingbird too- waving her hands close to her face and leaning into something she is excited about (such as chopping wood, playing drums, or bodies of water.)
Here is a picture of Mullein from our Easter egg hunt last month. Gosh, I could just squeeze her she is so sweet...