Today we are stretching our Mom Monday to “Couple Monday” since we have a very loving couple whose growing family captured our hearts at Kolcraft. We had to share their special story with you.
Kimberly & Stephen you have 6 beautiful children and have had a long list of parenting experiences. What for you has been the greatest joy in parenting?
When each of our six children were born, we saw a little bundle of potential presented to us as parents and I would say the greatest joy in parenting comes from watching our children reach the fruition of their God-given talents.
Your last pregnancy brought with it some mixed news – you were going to have a boy but he had a strong possibility of having Down syndrome. What was your first reaction to the news? How did your other children react to it?
We went into the pregnancy after having three miscarriages, so we were already nervous about any complications we might have. We have known several people who have Down syndrome, but I was not sure of my abilities as a parent in raising a child with Special Needs. Our first reaction to the news was actually tears of joy, because the other probability was a fatal condition. Our children cheered at the news, because they knew it would mean they would have a younger brother that would always be cheerful and want to hug them.
What family “lessons” would you say you are all learning with having a baby with special needs?
We have learned that we all have to be more patient and accept everyone as they are. It is amazing how many people have been touched by Philip’s infectious smile.
What is the one thing you have discovered as a parent to a special needs child that you hope to communicate with others?
We have discovered that raising a special needs child is just like raising our other children. All children are different. Some children walk, talk and develop faster than others develop, but they are all deserving of our love and attention. If we take our time and focus on the things that matter, it really does not matter what needs our children have, we just know that we have to meet them where they are.
What is your secret to raising a large family and keeping perspective?
The secret to raising a large family has to be following a routine. Sounds easy enough, but the day starts at 4:30 a.m. and many days does not end until 10:30 or 11 p.m. Packed in between is carefully orchestrated routines that if you didn’t know better you’d think was a military unit, especially with the polite, “yes sir” and “no ma’am” responses that the children have been brought up to use. However, keeping perspective is important, and we remember, that they are children after all. It reminds me of how recently our oldest child mimicked the Geico television commercial of the little piggy crying “wee wee wee” all the way home, which is a half hour drive. That is keeping perspective, while the kids all laughed and had fun while she entertained them.
Pryors at a glance: Jane Frances (12, loves to read), Joseph (10, loves to play his clarinet), Elizabeth (9, loves to draw and sing), John Paul (8, loves sports, especially Alabama football), James Robert (6, loves to surprise his mommy), Philip (3, loves everyone), Kimberly (Mommy extraordinaire), Stephen (madly in love with his wife and kids)
What is something that is always in your fridge? An extra gallon of milk
What is your favorite Kolcraft product? Kolcraft Contours 3-wheeler stroller
What is your best “sanity” break to recharge your parenting battery? Nothing recharges our batteries better than taking the boat out for a day on the river.
If someone were going to make a movie of your family’s life, what would the title of the movie be? Love Wins
Thank you for sharing your parenting journey with us! If any of our Kolcraft fans would like to donate to Philip’s Buddy walk and help raise awareness for Down Syndrome, you can find more information here.