Friday Nov 16, 2007. Everything changes now.

10.30 pm, Cork Street

It would’ve looked fake if you’d seen it in a soap opera. Half past ten at night. The car parked on a wide, abandoned street of warehouses and run-down, boarded-up derelicts. The rain hammering on the roof and me sat holding the wheel, my ribcage heaving and sobs wrenching themselves silently and with huge effort from me.
My sister was on the other end of the phone, the other side of the country, desperate to fill the silence with some kind of consoling noises.
You know that moment when a kid has fallen over and hurt themselves? That five to ten seconds when they’re catching their breath to deliver the howl that their brain has texted to their voicebox? I was stuck in that five to ten seconds, and it wasn’t ending. I tried to tell her it was alright, no really, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you all in Sligo, but I couldn’t physically say the words. The almost silent sobs came and kept coming. An instant headache made my brain feel too big for my skull. I was a stream of tears and snot, and the saliva thickened whatever words I did try to get out until they were completely indecipherable.

And that was my second reaction to the birth of my son with Down Syndrome.


One comment on “Friday Nov 16, 2007. Everything changes now.

  1. hammie says:

    Part of me is reacting to the feelings you are conveying, the fact that everyone is around you waiting to hear about your baby. In autism world we don’t have that intensity of attention because the diagnosis happens a couple of years after everyone has gone home from the hospital and left you to it.
    That is raw Downsdad, very raw.

    And the other part of me is reacting to the quality of your writing. Visceral. Brilliant. xx

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