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Seventeen hours ago my husband and I sat at a long table with Ellen’s classroom teacher and other experts who support her at her school where she is mainstreamed. Team Ellen is preparing for second grade!

I came in to the meeting optimistic, but when your child is born with an extra chromosome, to some degree you always hold your breath.

All credit to my husband, Ellen’s teachers, counselors, and, of course, Ellen. Education and raising children are marathons, not sprints. Every mile covered is an achievement knowing that you need to conserve your energy while you are putting out a lot of energy!

Ellen needs to embrace math to keep pace with it in second grade, and we will train every day so it becomes as exciting for her as the subjects we heard she is right on board with: reading, writing, science, and social studies.

The other good news from her teacher: Ellen is proud, engaged, and respected by her classmates. Not a bad foundation for the distance ahead! We’ll make sure adding and subtracting the miles become as fun for her as running them and the foundation is firm enough to hold her even with all its twists and turns.