by christina britt lewis
remember when the student became the teacher?
when i wrote about how i thought i had ruined my son's life, you helped me see the light.
you are my therapy.
one of our favorite people wrote this about the biggest mistake i ever made...
This is terrific! It would have been so boring to hear a story about how Cole got into a great school and blah blah blah. In true Lewi fashion, following the principles of his terrific parents, he is going to create his own path and awesome life. I can't wait to read the next chapter! Congrats for not getting into school, Cole! I have a feeling it is going to be one of the best things that never happened to you.
the next chapter has begun.
when his college dreams came crashing down, cole opened his mind to possibility.
he explored possibilities in california, australia, vermont, thailand, charlotte, and the caribbean.
he decided on charlotte and the caribbean.
he will make his home at UNCC in the spring, and made his home on this sailboat yesterday...
what back to school shopping looks like when school is on a sailboat...
he flew to tortola to study abroad for a seamester yesterday morning. 16 students and 4 instructors sail away for the adventure of a lifetime today. classes in oceanography and marine biology are taught on deck and underwater. they learn how to navigate the big blue sea and earn sailing certifications. cole is already rescue diver certified and will complete his divemaster certification. but what i love most about seamester is they take students out of their comfort zone, give them confidence in their own abilities, and show them that they do not have to follow some preordained path to success.
as we said goodbye to our babyboy at the airport yesterday, we didn't have a whole lot of words to say. just hugs and happy tears and this overwhelming sense of accomplishment and gratitude.
the story of our lives seems to be...
the best stuff happens when the stuff you thought was supposed to happen, doesn't.
that life lesson started for us 18 years ago. the thing is...don't laugh...ok, you can laugh... tim and i were never going to have kids. that was our plan... hehe... the stuff we thought was supposed to happen. you know that thing about if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans? hehe... yeah. so, along comes COLE much to our surprise. this alone was a big enough thing for us to get our DINKy heads around, but THEN they told us that this little life that was not supposed to be had down's syndrome. every test said so. our doctor told us to "seriously consider terminating the pregnancy." so we fired him.
the last few months of my pregnancy changed our lives forever.
we grieved for the life we expected and learned to love the life we were given.
we were beginning to see the truth that would guide our life work, everything has beauty
all 10.5 pounds of cole flipped while i was swimming in my parent's pool a week before he was due. i had been begging, pleading, and praying for a c-section ever since i found out i was pregnant (please don't hate me for my complete lack of earthy crunchiness). a BIG breech baby meant my wish had been granted, so tim and i headed to legal seafood in boston to celebrate with lobster rolls and onion strings. the next morning we headed to the hospital. cole entered the world with a perfectly round charley brown head and no down's syndrome. every doctor and every test was wrong.
so it seems that the student became the teacher before he was even born.
cole taught us to never allow the big voice of others to silence the still, small voice within.
he taught us to question authority and listen to the whisper.
when life is not what you expected,
grieve. we grieve with you. you are not alone.
the shadow proves the sunshine,
but sometimes devastation and humiliation are dark clouds that never seem to part.
sometimes the darkness overshadows the light within.
sometimes life is so hard.
learn to love the life you were given.
learn to see the beauty in everything.
maybe your best teacher is eating a bowl of cereal at your kitchen counter right now.
christina and tim