A mother's optimistic account of the first year of life with her daughter, Nella, who was born with Down syndrome.
Photographer writer Hampton is the author of a popular blog, Enjoying the Small Things. The Florida-based mother of two has received national recognition and media attention for her blog's personal writing and, reflected in it, her perpetually glass-half-full disposition. In her debut, she provides expanded versions of stories from her blog and other details about her life, marriage and parenthood. In 2009, the 31-year-old author and her husband, Brett, already parents of a two-year-old girl, Lainey, welcomed their second daughter, Nella. Hampton describes her immediate shock and distress at Nella’s diagnosis, but those feelings were quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of gratitude. "I feel there is a plan so beautiful in store…and we get to live it,” she writes. “Wow.” The author’s positive attitude and enthusiasm remain unchanged throughout the book, which may illicit admiration in some readers and mild irritation in others—Hampton rarely reveals her own vulnerability. The author’s descriptions of people and events are clear and easy to follow, but it's her beautiful photographs that bring them to life. A few of Hampton’s summations—e.g., "I not only hugged Fear and Sadness that night at the computer, but I let them unpack their bags and stay awhile"—come across as slightly disingenuous, if not simplistic. However, the author’s mostly appealing optimism will make this book a comfort to other parents facing difficult circumstances.
Sunny and inspiring.