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This morning at 5:30 I had not yet downed my first cup of coffee when my six-year-old daughter burst into the kitchen and said, “Let’s read a book in German!” She picked out Der Regenbogenfisch which Ben and I had purchased for her before we found out that Ellen would come into this world with an extra chromosome.

Extra chromosome or not, Ellen loves to read (and very well) in two languages. Thank heavens she is of an age where she still likes to cuddle up to her parents with a book. So even though my day was slowly coming into focus, it was pretty sweet to dive into The Rainbow Fish for probably the 30th time with my daughter.

It’s a great story for kids and adults, and of course it’s about so much more than a fish who is protective of his shiny, multi-colored scales but eventually realizes the joy of sharing them.

This blog has helped me make more sense of life as I sometimes look back on my past and look forward to my daughter’s future. Like the Regenbogenfisch, I knew pretty early on I was different, and not just because I am a lefty and gay. It took me a long time to find worlds where I could safely share my multi-colored scales. Like the Regenbogenfisch, I had to seek the advice of a mysterious octopus or two to help me figure out when and how to share. But I’m glad I did, and I hope Ellen will find the right people who appreciate her extra chromosome. She can still hold on to her individuality, like I did, and I know she will, but it’s a lot easier swimming with friends than going it alone.