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Ellen and I are heading into the homestretch. Daddy comes home today, so Papa may well become second fiddle again! As Ellen in her dramatic, six-year-old fashion would say, “It makes me sad.” It’s been a long time since it’s been just the two of us. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.

Last night as I was helping Ellen fall asleep, she looked more angelic to me than ever before — and that’s saying a lot! She smiled and asked, “Who is GBen und Ellen!od?” I had no idea how the question came about. Ellen and I are Quakers, but we don’t talk about God a great deal, or maybe we do and I just don’t know it.

Ellen then said, “God loves all of us and he is a butterfly.” I knew I had to write those words down. I’m pretty sure I’ve never referred to God as a man or woman. Given that two of Ellen’s grandparents died in the past year, Ben and I talk about angels and heaven, but mostly we say that angels look over us. I go a bit further, probably to Ben’s dismay. I mention that if you want something, you need to ask the angels for it and you need to state clearly what it is. That has always worked for me!

As for the butterflies, I’ve always believed in my overly idealistic way that they are powerful symbols. Of what I am still trying to figure out, but I’m always relieved when I see them. I should probably leave it at that for now as this blog is about tennis and trisomy 21. I said to a friend  yesterday who has been following the blog that tennis has taught me and reinforced valuable life lessons. Trisomy 21 came much later into my universe than tennis, but it’s also given me a range of perspectives I never would have known how to tap into.

Before I get overly profound, I’ll give grades for Ellen and Rüdiger being on their own this week. (I do come from an extended family of teachers!) Rüdiger: B-. My angel: A. She’s pretty amazing night and day.

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