One of the more rampant stereotypes about people with Down syndrome is that they are always happy. Don’t ask why that sticks in the face of a screaming child with Down syndrome – even when someone actually sees my child in a rage, they have been known to comment (with a chuckle) about how “those” kids are “always so happy.” Incredulous, I’ve pointed at my daughter, her face turning purple and her tiny mouth pressed hard into a perfect wail of discontent, and the “always happy” commenter just laughs. Like her rage is just a quirky frame for her happiness.
When I saw the title of Kari’s book, “Not Always Happy,” I laughed. I knew right off the bat that I’d like it – even if I was totally judging it by the cover.
It’s a great read. It’s the story of her love for her husband (and their love of Whitman and movies!, and the birth of their family, through the adoption of their son, Thorin. Who has Down syndrome. And who – (drumroll please) is NOT always happy.
What I Liked About "Not Always Happy"
1. It’s entertaining
2. Kari writes in a super-approachable way
3. It’s funny
4. She uses a lot of movie references, and I love movies
5. She tells the no-fun sides of an IEP process in crystal-clear detail
6. It’s informative: I learned a lot about the adoption process through their story
Why You Should Read It
1. It’s a smooth, fun read
2. It stretches you, but not uncomfortably so
3. It will give you a better understanding of what the challenges that the educational system and our culture present with regard to raising a child with Down syndrome
4. It will make you laugh
5. You will also fall in love with their family
Kari’s publisher is giving away a copy of this wonderful story to one reader here, anywhere in the world!
To enter, just leave a comment here, or answer this question: “is your child always happy?!”
Winner picked by random.org in a week.
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.