- Review by Kathy Kuhl of The Book About James by Julia Gray – Thoughts from a parent of a child with challenges
When you discover you have a child with learning difficulties or any disability, you start on a journey. In The Book about James, Julia Gray frankly shares her story about her life with a son with disabilities. Her honesty, humor, raw emotion, and wisdom make this a good, quick read for anyone, especially for parents of children facing any challenges: visible or invisible.
- homeschool and other schools,
- therapists, and professionals,
- “It’s not all about soccer,” (and other good things we want for our kids)
- fellowship with other parents of kids with challenges.
Friends … will tell you of someone they know with Down syndrome, and you will hear the inevitable, “They are such a blessing.” To me, that phrase meant either they didn’t have the heart to tell you that your life would pretty much be drudgery from this point on, or they didn’t want to admit how uncomfortable the situation made them. (Kindle Location 549-551).
- “Proof once again, that I never worry about the right thing.”
- “There are those who are purely in love and in awe from the moment their children are born… When I hear of people who have this story, I sincerely have to admire how together and assured they are. I always think, Wow, they are so much nicer than I am.”
Hmm, let’s see. Page one . . . now here is a lovely little girl who has her father’s beautiful blue eyes and dimples. Oh, she has bad acne and some scarring as a teenager; we don’t want that. Flip on through to find a handsome young fellow with an incredible IQ. Unfortunately, he is also going to have asthma. We are a family of athletes. What if his asthma keeps him from being able to compete? Keep going. Difficulty learning to read— no… . Prone to tantrums until he is five— not a chance. Becomes a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys— horrors!Would our own parents have chosen any of us? Would you have chosen the very children you so dearly love today? None of us are perfect. In fact, we all look downright undesirable on paper. (Kindle Locations 257-264).
So many interesting people came into our lives. Some people were helpful and filled with much-needed information. Some people were needy and gave me a chance to serve them, which is very empowering. Some people were arrogant and single-minded and had lots of knowledge about their “right” way, and I would benefit from their research. There were lots of families with lots of different philosophies from whom I could observe and gather insight. It was like I had my own experimental laboratory, and I could cherry-pick just the paths I wanted to pursue.
Fortunately, that was not all I would gain. We have made good friends, and they became the people we wanted to be around not just because we had to be with them. These were not miserable people making the best of what had been given to them. They were folks who knew the sadness we came from and knew that we had been wrong but held us under no judgment. (Kindle Locations 487-494).