Craniofacial Awareness Month & The Thing about Wonder

September is Craniofacial Awareness month! In honor of this month (and Landon’s birth month!) I wanted to re-share my Wonder blog post from The Southard Diaries. Enjoy!

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The Thing about Wonder

So
I finally did it… I finally read Wonder. I just sat down on Sunday
morning while Landon nuzzled next to me on the couch and read it. For
years now, when folks hear about Landon’s syndrome, most people offer
“have you heard about the book Wonder?!”. This question is sometimes
accompanied by an I’m-so-sorry-for-you glance or even a
I-know-how-hard-this-must-be stare because of this book.

But until now I just didn’t want to finish it. I started last summer. I
cried at page 3 and thought “Nope, not going to purposely make myself
cry anymore right now.” Part of me didn’t really want to read it because
living it was certainly different than a tale of fiction. The other
part of me hesitated because this was written by a random author, NOT by
a real parent or family member or person with Treacher Collins. When I
heard that the author simply saw a child one day with TCS, and she and
her family fled from the store prompting her to reflect and then write
the book… I had a hard time even looking at the book on my shelf.

And then I realized, this author, this book, this story that “teaches kind”
is exactly what this world needs. It’s THIS book that may change each
and every middle school out there. THIS story that might make school
life for Landon happier and more full of kindness.

Now, I’ve spent time with the story. I’ve cried with the characters and the
painful words the children call Auggie. I really marvel at how much
research this author must have done. And I now love that she took her
own missed opportunity for a teaching moment with her kids and is in
turn teaching the world how to choose kindness.

This book also provides peace of mind for us “special” parents. We face this vast
unknown in sending our kiddos off to school. With headlines about
bullying and remembering how tough middle school even was for ourselves,
THIS book now gives us some solace that KINDNESS is being taught in the
classroom in a really cool way. It’s prompting discussion and debate
and they are spending time on this during the school year. THIS is huge.

My heart will break 1,000 times before she even reaches middle school. When every child stares and points, when every parent shuffles them by while glaring themselves yet not choosing to teach their kids better. When kids are mean to her face. I will now think of
this fictional boy who is teaching the world SO much love. This book is teaching us the basics and what it’s like to choose kindness at such a young age. And I marvel at what this book can also teach adults.

So, my friends, please read this story. Please read it with your kids when
it’s time. Talk about how it made them feel. Talk about how it made you
feel. And then pay those feelings forward.

xoxo,

Eloise

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