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Guest Writer: Wendy Hooton Author of "Big People Don't Pee in the Park"

We have a special guest blog! Wendy Hooton is the #1 International Best Selling Author of Big People Don't Pee in the Park: A Mother and Son's Journey with Down Syndrome, a speaker and an advocate for Down syndrome individuals. We are excited that she shared "the rest of the story" with us. And now with you!


Magical Moments

You know that euphoric feeling you experience as you walk through the turnstile at Disneyland? The feeling as you dash to the enormous image of Mickey perfectly manicured out of purple and white flowers, patiently waiting your turn for the must-have photo before entering the happiest place on earth. The sensation that hits you as the upbeat tunes of Mainstreet flood the air, bringing to life the child that lives within everyone. That uncontrollable giddy feeling that takes over as you breathe in the aroma of cotton candy and other sweets as you rush under the bridge, excited to be transported into another world. 

You know that feeling? 

Well, that's me right now. 

It's the best description that comes to my mind that is comparable to what I've been experiencing since the publication of my book. The reviews, opportunities, and stories I shared have filled the gift shop in my head. But there have been some extremely heartwarming experiences that are currently front and center. 

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

First, the turnout at my book signing was like the rush I experienced when riding the Matterhorn. Unable to hold back the screams as the coaster races up and down, whipping you through tunnels that take you in and out of the tall mountain, a duplicate of the mountain in Switzerland. My emotions were like that ride as I watched my guests wait in a long line to have me sign their books. I held back my screams but was excited to see them laughing and visiting with one another, humbled that they were all there to see me.  

Second, after spending thirty-six years of my life working for the company I retired from two years ago to pursue this dream of writing my book, I recently received an invitation to attend their annual holiday boutique to do a book signing. It was an exhilarating feeling to be able to share what I had been doing since I retired. The genuine accolades and praises I received from former colleagues excited to support my success were overwhelming.  

What surprised me was when the CEO, a gentleman I worked with for most of my career, saw me and my table full of colorful books and stopped by. After a brief moment of sharing my mighty message, he shared his personal story with me. He has a brother, an adult in his mid-forties but twenty-two years younger than him, who has Down syndrome. 

For a minute, neither of us spoke as we acknowledged the unique bond we shared. How did we not know this? He bought my book with a plan to reconnect with me to share his thoughts on how I have expressed my stories of the world we both live in.

The Book Signing Hug

The most intimate and most likely unforgettable experience to date was the interaction I had at this same book signing with the daughter of my doctor, who delivered and named my son. After some small talk, I asked her about her dad and how he was doing. 

That's when I was moved to tell her that her father was a major influence on how my journey as my son's mother began. I shared his gentle and loving manner in how he spoke to our family after we received the devastating news, gave a twenty-three-year-old girl, because that's what I was…just a girl, hope. Her dad saved me and my baby, and I thought about him Every. Single. Day. 

She began to cry. After a moment she shared with me that he had recently commented that he has been questioning if his life's work meant anything, that he has wondered if he ever made a difference. She couldn't wait to tell him what I had said. In the moment, it was obvious to me he needed to read the chapter I wrote about him that would answer his question. 

I grabbed one of my books, signed it with a personal message to him, and instructed her to gift it to her dad…the man who made a difference to me. She cried harder and asked to hug me. We hugged tightly, and I whispered to her, "Tell him he mattered, and if it was only to one of his patients, that one patient was equal to hundreds." 

I then politely asked her to stop crying because I had not put on waterproof mascara that day. We laughed, and she smiled lovingly at me, just as her dad had thirty-three years ago, then she walked away.

These are only a handful of the great yet unanticipated aspects of the process that have happened to me since the release of my book. Becoming an author has been my life's dream. I hope I never wake up from this. I don't know if it's hope or my instincts, but something tells me this is just the beginning. 

Unlike the end of a long day at Disney, I will never tire of being on this ride. 

Note: If you've never been to Disneyland, or if you aren't a fan, hopefully I've just taken you to a magical place, without the crowds, of course. 

~ Wendy

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