special needs parenting · Uncategorized

Alex the Hobbit

I sometimes wonder if Hobbits were modeled after people with Down syndrome. With the exception of hairy feet, the description is nearly perfect. 

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
The hobbit-hole in question belongs to Bilbo Baggins, a very respected hobbit. He is, like most of his kind, well off, well fed, and best pleased when sitting by his own fire with a pipe, a glass of good beer, and a meal to look forward to (which they take 6 times if they can). 

J.R.R. Tolkien

If you add an iPad or Skylanders to that description, my friends, you have Alex. 

Alex adores the simple pleasures of life. A bowl of ice cream, a slice of pizza, or even just bringing in groceries from the car and unpacking them, Alex is over the moon. 

I’m learning so much about relishing simple moments from him. Like when he catches my eye in the rear view mirror and tells me he likes me, or his happy dance when his cheeseburger is delivered at a restaurant. Yes, there is much to be said for joy in simplicity.  Alex continually reminds me to slow down enough to appreciate the little things in life. The elation he emotes somehow fortifies me on days when details and busyness act as anchor.  I pray that I will always take pause to notice his contentment. 

Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Yes, Alex’s small acts of kindness and love bring me courage, just like his fictive kin Bilbo Baggins.  

The other side of the coin is keeping Alex from being so comfortable in his own skin that he misses the bigger things life has to offer.  


Today is the first day of a short road trip. When I asked Alex if he wanted to go he demurred. When pushed, he called it “scary”. That was a red flag which told me he must not be allowed to become complacent.  I set about getting him excited for the trip by telling him of swimming pools and mountains, none of which did the trick. What finally broke through was choosing car snacks. Ah yes, the way to this boy’s heart is always through food. 

So far he’s having a ball, after all, what better way is there to please a modern day Hobbit than a Cracker Barrel bacon cheeseburger?  

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