From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

Lucky Me

Oh what a power is motherhood, possessing a potent spell.


“Let us pray,” announced the pastor as we bowed our heads.

I pressed my eyes closed, silently questioning, “Why is this happening to me?” Only days before, an amniocentesis test had confirmed that our third child would be born with Down syndrome.

Startled by the sudden noises surrounding me, I opened my eyes to see the congregation filing from the pews. Apparently, I had missed the pastor’s final amen. Swiping away a tear, I knelt to grab my purse.

“Sheri.” I rose as a hand touched my shoulder. The older woman smiled and whispered, “God only chooses special parents to have children with Down syndrome. Don’t ever forget that you’re one of the lucky few.” She squeezed my hand, kissed my cheek and walked away.

A few months later, a smiling nurse placed Hailey in my arms, and I cried tears of joy as I studied my daughter for the first time. My mission, calling and purpose for mothering this little baby became clear as I cradled her. I knew I would shower unconditional love on this special child of God. Fears that permeated my thoughts before her birth were replaced with an inner peace.

“I’m one of the lucky few,” I whispered, and a smile stretched across my face.

Hailey is five now. Every morning, she climbs into our bed singing her favorite Barney tune. “I love you, you love me.” She grabs our hands. “We’re a happy family.” She squeezes us tight. “With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you.” Hailey kisses our cheeks and finishes triumphantly, “Won’t you say you love me, too?”

And even as I try to sleep through another verse . . . and another, I envision God looking down from heaven with a smile asking, “Hmmm, which family needs a special blessing in their life?”

God chose me to be Hailey’s mother, our family to be her wholehearted nurturers. He knew ours was the perfect home for a child with special needs. And we try not to disappoint him. We support her; we encourage her; we shower her with an abundance of love.

Each time Hailey smiles into my eyes and says, “Mom, I love you,” I reply, “I love you, too.” And I am reminded of how fortunate we both are to have each other. The purple dinosaur words sing true, “We’re a happy family.” One of the lucky few.

Sheri Plucker

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