Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Note from Aunt Leanne

When I was growing up, my mom placed great emphasis on manners.  If I had a dime for every time I heard her say "that's not very lady-like conduct..."  Oh, but I love her for it to this day!  Leanne was never excused from exhibiting proper manners simply because she had a disability.  She was held to the same high standards that I was.  We were reminded to place the napkin in our lap, chew with our mouths closed, sit with our legs crossed, and say "please" and "thank you" religiously.  Upon receiving a gift, we were required to send a hand-written thank you note immediately. 

Thanks to Mama Hop's tireless efforts, that sister of mine turned out to be one classy lady!  After her big birthday extravaganza, she sent us a very gracious thank you note on lovely stationary in a very prompt manner. 

Dear Sis, Travis, JoJo, and Merryn,
Thank you for coming to my party and swimming at Michelle's house.  I had fun.  Thanks for all the presents.  I like the red and green shirts and pants.  I wear them to school. 
Love, Leanne

I give my mom a lot of credit and especially admire her for having the same expectations for Leanne that she had for me. The fact that she refused to make exceptions for Leanne empowered Leanne to achieve more, and it greatly contributed to the healthy sibling relationship that we have today.  It is my hope that I can do the same for my children.


  1. Your mom sounds like an amazing mom (and I think you are one, too, by the way!)

    I feel exactly the same, just the fact that our youngest has Down syndrome doesn't mean she can just do whatever she wants :)

    (Although it is kind of hard, she is 13 months now, and whenever she has a 'new' trick, we are just SO excited, even when it is something less good, that we forget sometimes. Her latest is throwing everything down, and she'll laugh when you pick it up, and it just is so cute.)

  2. Cudos goes to her handwriting, I didn't need the translation :0)

    Such a lovely thing to do, nothing nicer than a thank you letter.

  3. Your family has inspired many to hold their children accountable and to high expectations. We are empowering Sarah in the same manner and her team is following our example at school. Keep Smiling:)

  4. I love Aunt Leanne's thank you note - I didn't need the translation either. :) Kudos to your mom for holding you both to the same standards. We are the same way with our little one; I often have to remind my boys not to cheer and encourage less-than-desireable toddler behavior just because their sister has Ds.

  5. What a lovely note! I can just picture Aunt Leanne sitting up straight at the kitchen table, holding on to her huge pink feather pen, legs crossed perfectly, elbows off the table... yeah for Mama Hop!

  6. Excellent note! Your mom did a great job with both of you!

    Would your mom be up to emailing? Or even snail mail! I was thinking of Leanne and your mom the other day and I would love to just talk with her. Beth is 27 and I would love to talk to someone who has walked this path before. (I haven't found very many.)