Sure, I already knew I loved her. Over the last twenty one months I had been poked and prodded along to love her by her sisters’ immediate acceptance and love, by her deep sighs while she slept, and by the way Sergei protected her from the cold on a walk, bundling her up in the front pack with a blanket draped over her head. But this day was different.On this morning, something deep inside me cracked open: unabashed love, thick like wet clay. I gathered it up for us and squished it around. Polly grabbed and flung it to me. I balled it up and sent it, once again, to her. It went back and forth between us all morning. Her smile, brighter than the Christmas tree, lit up her little face. We were lost in mutual adoration. This was what other parents to children with Down syndrome meant. “Let the baby change you.” I’d gotten nowhere regarding Polly as a child with Down syndrome, but when I was able to see her as a baby, as my baby, a light switched on inside.
Before seeing Daniel, I did not know there were people in the world without things like legs. Broken people existed. What a frightening discovery.