Reviews Non-fiction # 91 Spring 2020 ,
Nathaniel G. Moore Reviews An Extra Dash of Love
The act of writing can help one sooth anxieties and sort out problems. Often, the writer finds themself communicating in surprising ways.
An Extra Dash of Love: Letters Celebrating Down Syndrome is a beautiful collection of letters, written by those who care for someone who has Down Syndrome. There is more real, raw emotion in these pages than most over-workshopped, MFA-doused poetry and fiction collections being published these days.
The subtitle is on the mark: this is a celebration of human beings who share a similar way of life, but who are loved unconditionally. Here’s an example from a mother in Shediac Bridge, New Brunswick.
What I love about my son Finn:
♥ His openness and sweet, loving nature.
♥ How he studies the wheels under his toy car as it moves.
♥ How he brings me little pieces of paper/stickers that he finds to put in the garbage.
♥ How he brings Lily her boots and coat when it’s time to go. He likes to keep her on task.
♥ How he loves to help out with laundry by sorting the clothes or putting them into washer or dryer.
♥ The positive impact he has on Lily; I like to think that she will grow up with more compassion and kindness towards others.
♥ His easy, contagious laughter.
♥ His coyness.
♥ His smile.
♥ The way he greets a loved one after a short absence: he comes running with arms outstretched, exclaiming loudly like you are the most important person in the world.
♥ His determination.
♥ The tenderness he has towards his sister.
♥ How at 8 months old, he had open heart surgery and recovered like a champ.
♥ The pride I feel at his successes.
♥ Witnessing the joy he brings to others.
♥ That he made me a mother. That I am his mother. I still worry about how the world will accept him when he gets older and he isn’t as cute (did I mention that he is adorable?), but he is surrounded by a family and community that loves and supports him. Finn has already made the world around him a little kinder, maybe that’s the most important step.
Tammy, mother of Finn—Shediac Bridge, NB
An Extra Dash of Love is a tender rendering of local folks’ emotional bravery and compassion for those in their lives who are deserving of each and every dash of this type of affection.