Loving You Big: One family embracing the unexpected
By Leah Moore
In her debut parenting memoir, Leah Witman Moore tells the story of raising children with disabilities and navigating both the beauty and hardships of parenting, especially when things don't go as planned.
When their first child, Jordan, was born with a rare syndrome called cri du chat. And when their twin boys, Austin and Oliver, were born four years later, Moore and her husband found themselves surrounded by neurosurgeons and oncologists, once again testing the resolve of their sanity and their marriage.
In Loving You Big, Leah Witman Moore recounts how she learned to balance the joys and sorrows of her life. Without understanding why, she hoped she could love the disability out of her child and her resourcefulness could discover the right experts to help her find her way in the world. But with the introduction of sign language, countless laps around the living room in a walker, and daily wig-clad dance parties, Moore learned there was nothing about her children that needed to be different. It was the world around her that needed to change.
Forbes magazine celebrates “Loving You Big” as the memoir changing the narrative about how individuals with disabilities are viewed in society. This powerful and poignant memoir teaches readers to celebrate every small victory, and recognize the profound impact of a kind word. As if sitting down with a friend after a long day, this is the book you want to read when you find yourself on the unexpected path of parenthood.
This discussion guide and recommended reading was shared and sponsored in partnership with Leah Moore.
Use these discussion questions to guide your next book club meeting.
Leah introduces her story with the tension of the life she imagined she would live and the reality of her circumstances. Has there been a time where you had to negotiate your own planned vs. lived circumstances? What supported you throughout this process?
There is an underlying struggle in the memoir to create time for self-care. Which of her struggles could you identify with and what strategies could you use in your own life?
How would you describe Leah’s understanding of implicit biases as they pertain to individuals with disabilities? What is she advocating for within our society?
“In her beautiful and inspiring memoir, Leah Moore, mother of a child with a rare chromosomal disorder, invites us into her journey as they beat the predictions with bravery, vulnerability, and above all, humor.” – Nicola Wheir #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nanny Diaries.
“The only universal truth about parenting is that none of us are getting out unscathed. There’s going to be sobbing, but there will also be cake. Just focus on the cake. In her charming story of family and hope, Leah Moore appears to have figured that all out, choosing daily to meet her challenges with a hum rather than sob…and a robust collection of wigs. If there’s any secret to parenting, that would be it: Just keep humming.* *Wigs optional.” – Jeni Decker author of I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames: My Insane Life Raising Two Boys With Autism
“An intimate portrait of boundless parental love and resilience told with humor, wit, and a deep understanding of our humanity. This extraordinary story will grab your heart and squeeze it. And you will be transformed by it.” – Diana Kupershmit, author of Emma’s Laugh
“With the perspective of an educator, the passion of an activist, and the fierce love of a mother, Moore shares her experiences raising a daughter with cri du chat alongside her other children with their own special needs. With heart and humor, insight and intelligence, Moore poignantly takes the reader along with her on a journey from Jordan’s diagnosis to overcoming challenges to reaching milestones and beyond. Moore also advances a much-needed conversation about our “ableist” society from both institutional and personal angles. By giving voice to the voiceless, Moore has provided a gift to readers who can relate to her experiences firsthand as well as those who can not. This book touched me deeply, and I didn’t want to put it down.”—Susie Orman Schnall, author of The Subway Girls and We Came Here to Shine