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I had coffee brewing at 4 a.m. today so I could watch Serena and Venus Williams play their matches. Still not fully awake, I checked the order of play on my computer and gasped. Serena had already won 6-2, 6-0 against Elena Vesnina. Fortunately, Venus was still contesting a tight second set against Angelique Kerber, so before the rest of my family woke up, I enjoyed the arrival of morning in Hawaii, good coffee, and live tennis from Wimbledon where it was 3 in the afternoon.

Venus lost, but making it to the semifinals at 36 is quite an accomplishment! By the time our family left for school around 7, she and her sister were winning their doubles quarterfinal. The Williams have become such legends as singles players that it’s easy to forget they have been one of the most successful doubles teams in history.

I wrote my own sister yesterday and invited her to my blog. She and others in my family have not been tennis players, but they were very generous in letting me zone out as a teenager in front of the television during Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and other tournaments. I dreamt that one day I might travel to those beautiful tennis courts. Guess what? It happened. I even played on the U.S. Open courts in a gay tournament.

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Me a few years ago. I haven’t changed too much!

Tennis has been a constant in my life. It and a Fulbright scholarship opened up the world for me. Some of my best friends I’ve met on the tennis court or working with them at tennis clubs. They became family. I’ve experienced all kinds of natural highs on the court, especially after hitting a good passing shot!

Parenthood has been a whole other adventure! It has given me an elation I never thought possible, but like a tennis match it is all about navigating the good and not-so-great patches, keeping one’s focus, and sometimes just letting go.

I look forward to sharing with all of you my thoughts about tennis and trisomy 21, asking questions, receiving your wisdom and humor. I’ve been humbled by the many wonderful responses I’ve received these past few days from friends and new acquaintances. I’m glad you’ve joined me!

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