How many cards did you receive over the past holiday? And how many included personal notes to “fill you in” on the busy lives of your friends and relatives? The number of cards I receive today is far less than in years’ past, but I look at them differently, and they look different. There are fewer “holiday letters” but many more “photo essays”. If you are anything like me, you enjoy the photo cards far more than just a lovely Hallmark holiday photo. It’s seems so nice to me that folks want to share the joy and pride they feel in their family.
Have you ever thought about where we might be in our journey with Williams syndrome if people weren’t willing to share? I have, and as a result I am eternally grateful for our parent’s efforts to teach us all to share as young children. Those early lessons we receive in toy sharing and sharing our thoughts and experiences with our parents, have a life-long impact that is important for everyone and critical for parents and caregivers of children with special challenges like Williams syndrome. Those lessons that were initially meant to help us be good citizens of the world and keep us safe by telling our parents what is happening in our lives, blossom into a willingness to share all types of things – from our favorite sweater or a perfect tool, to moments to remember, difficult experiences that we don’t want to bear alone, and questions for which we can’t find an answer. Some of us will share freely only with family and special friends, others will share almost anything to almost anyone. Most of us fall somewhere in between. And for those of us who are good at it, sharing makes life easier, richer and often much more gratifying.