In Learning to Drive, Michael has Down syndrome, is determined to deliver his mother’s ashes to the Grand Canyon, and although he has a strong desire to learn, doesn’t have a license to drive.
“Melissa loved to sit quietly in her room and write down her innermost thoughts and feelings.” Her sister, Laura, told me.
I never knew Melissa, but I relate. I relate because of how as a teenager I, too, wrote to let the words comfort me and help carve my sense of place in the world. I relate because my son also has a vivid imagination and his stories flow from him like water from a spring. The hours he spends sorting out characters, adventures and conflicts.
One more way I relate is that