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A Golden Ring, and a New Look

Posted Mar 20 2010 9:22am

On my index finger, I’m wearing a tarnished, golden smiley-face ring.  It’s dented a bit, and it’s too small, but I like to wear it sometimes anyway, because for such an insubstantial ring, it’s heavy with memory.

I like to call it my $67,000 ring.

It was given to Avery by a troupe of clowns in the waiting area of Seattle Children’s Hospital.  The clowns made all the children laugh (the parents, too) and I remember thinking how priceless laughter, or even a simple smile, was in these circumstances.

The ring carries other significance, too:  the fact that it was a smiley-face reminded me of an essay I wrote about how, so often, when I’d tell other mothers one of my children has Down syndrome, I’d get a  blank stare, what I called the “smiley-face” response.   

The ring became our talisman–the nurse removed it from Avery’s finger before they took him away from us, and I put it on my pinky finger, so as not to lose it, but at some point I began thinking that as long as I had the ring on my finger, everything would be okay.  I wore it for a long time–after we were released, after we stayed in Hotel Deca, after we drove home, which is how it got so tarnished.  I wore it as I washed away all the gummy residue from the electrodes; I wore it as I changed Avery’s bandages.

And now.  It reminds me of the power of joy, and how little things can become so important, in a crisis.  Which is why there is a new badge here at Pinwheels–it’s an easy way to support The Art of Elysium , a very worthy organization that brings art to kids in hospitals.  To help, click on the badge.  All it costs is about 5 minutes of your time.

Plus!  Today is the first day of a brand new season, which is why there’s a new look here.   Happy Spring!

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