I had so many judgments about parenting... before I was a parent. More specifically, before I was a parent to two kids with special needs. I was sure I knew the magic formula to raising creative, inquisitive, polite, humble children -- full of curiosity and bursting with energy for seasonal crafting projects. I was kind of an ass. A well-intentioned ass.
I now know I became a card-carrying member of the grown-up set the morning I looked down at my gorgeous second child, who was only six weeks old, and was struck with the overwhelming feeling that there was something profoundly wrong with her. Yes, I became an adult at 36, the day I knew in my heart that my daughter had significant special needs.
I still remember the day I received the results. "The baby tested positive for Down Syndrome." When the woman told me that I was having a girl, I collapsed to the floor and burst into tears. I was growing this precious life inside of me and was in love with her already. I was also suddenly afraid of all the unknowns.