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Saturday was family YMCA day, or morning to be more accurate. Joining the Y has been one of the best things we’ve done since moving to Honolulu: it’s instant community for all kinds of families—gay, straight, black, white, native Hawaiian, Asian heBaerchenritage. The Y has wonderful programs for all ages. As much as we love our daughter, it’s pretty great that Ellen can be in the children’s area while her dads hit the treadmill or catch up on reading or correcting papers.

The staff at the Y is pretty amazing as well. To say our family has been accepted is an understatement. After more than two years, you look forward to catching up with people behind the counter who greet you several times a week and make an effort to get to know you.

So it came as a bit of a surprise when one young staff member with whom I have chatted regularly for over a year about her life at college, who knows me as a marathoner, and who lives in the same neighborhood we do, asked me on Saturday, “So, what do you do?”

I laughed and said, “How would you like me to answer that?” I told her I was a father, husband, marathoner, tennis player, and worked as an advancement officer at a school. I love my full-time job. I’ve been in the development/advancement field for 20 years now, so I better like it! What made both my Y friend and me laugh, though, was that up to now, I’ve been Ellen’s father and Ben’s husband who runs a lot.

As more people read this blog, I almost feel like I can call myself a real writer again. I went to a wonderful journalism school and have published poetry and tennis articles as a freelancer. But this blog can help build community, be a place where people share resources, learn more about Trisomy 21 (and tennis!).

Mahalo/Danke/Thank you to all of you.