The Wittwer family moved into our neighborhood the month Welles was born. Too good to be coincidence. They reached out to us very quickly and are now some of our very best friends. I call Kathryn (Eddy's mom) any time I have a question or if I simply want to celebrate one of Welles' latest milestones. Scott and Josh (Eddy's dad) golf and see "man movies" together. Their sweet daughters play with Scarlett and dote on Welles. There is no question, Eddy and Welles are destine to be great buddies. We are so grateful for the Wittwer family. The way these sisters act as little mommies to Eddy is so touching. Josh and Kathryn have done a beautiful job with their little family. I was so excited to highlight them this month! I asked them to write up a little paper on Eddy and his role in the family. Within a couple hours, Josh sent this over to me. What a sweet tribute to their handsome little Eddy.
On March 12, 2011 Edison James Wittwer came into our life. There was no forewarning with his Trisomy 21 and the diagnosis didn’t actually come until a week after he was born.
It was a wonderful, terrifying and pivotal day in the history of our family.
Before this crazy red-headed boy showed up, unannounced, we had little experience with Down Syndrome and weren’t sure what to expect.
For the last 3 years we have seen the world through different lenses. Our paradigm has shifted and definitions have changed. He helped us slow down a little and live more in the present. We adjusted our benchmarks and freed ourselves from the imposter of a “normal” life.
He’s caused us to marvel more at the development and ability of his sisters. We encourage them to cultivate their talents, but have found a great appreciation for who they are now and not so affixed on what they’ll become. We’ve by no means figured it all out, but “Special Ed” has brought a sublime happiness into our family.
Eddy certainly comes with his challenges: health concerns, delayed development and those acute short and long-term worries, which parents can’t escape.
We have found, however, that his disability is a powerful rallying cry for our family. Encouraging his development is a team effort that we all take part in. Helping their brother improve in mind and body has provided invaluable perspective for his two adoring sisters. They are learning life’s greatest lesson……that to be lost in service to someone else is to find yourself again.
We’ve got great hope that having this little boy around will reconcile all the errors we make in raising our daughters!
But finding purpose and benefit thorough trial is only a part of the story. Eddy, with all his hilarious quirks, is just a purely entertaining creature. He loves to laugh until he can barely breath. His stamina for snuggling knows no limits. His biggest tantrums are thrown when the music and the dancing stops. He’s got an inexplicable penchant for eating Hummus like it’s ice cream and his wardrobe rivals even the even the snazziest of Hipsters.
I can’t exactly remember how we all got along before Eddy. He’s the key factor in the formula for the Wittwer family equation for happiness.
To all those who’s lives are touched by Down Syndrome, we congratulate you. To all others, we highly recommend you reach out and become part of this wonderful community.