If you read this blog very much, you may have noticed that I blog on issues related to disability a great deal. This topic is close to my heart because I have a seven-year-old son named Sean who has Down Syndrome. We also have another son, Luke, who is eleven. My wife and I have learned a great deal about a great many things as parents, and parenting Sean has had its own set of lessons, challenges, and bumps in the road.
I don’t talk about my personal experiences very much because…well…they’re personal. I do write about the Bible, theology, the Church, and disability, but rarely from a first-person perspective. I’m a pretty private person, as is my wife. Recently, however, Jason Vickers asked if Harriet and I would be willing to share our experiences as parents of a child with Down Syndrome at the upcoming Light the Fire conference. This conference will focus on church renewal and people with disabilities. We agreed, and we’ll be speaking at three breakout sessions. The description of our talk is as follows:
Sean Watson was born on Thanksgiving Day, 2006. Four hours after his birth, his parents were told that he had Down Syndrome. At four months of age he had open heart surgery. Now seven years old, he is a lively, precocious, mischievous boy who loves to jump on his trampoline and play Angry Birds. For his parents and brother, learning to raise Sean has been a journey of faith, joy, heartache, patience, and celebration. In this session, David Watson, Academic Dean at United, and Harriet Watson, a stay-at-home mom and United Methodist layperson, reflect on what they have learned about God, the Church, and loving a child with Down Syndrome.
So… If you have any interest in our talk or many of the other fine offerings at this conference, I hope you’ll attend. You can find out more information about the conference by clicking here.