I am the grandmother of an incredible almost 2-year old little girl with Down syndrome. Unlike Governor Palin, my daughter and my son-in-law did not have five months to ready themselves for dealing with this diagnosis. But if they had, I'm pretty sure my daughter would not have hidden her pregnancy "under a scarf," nor would she have neglected to mention it to other members of her family.Instead, my daughter and sonin-law immediately rallied through their tears and became the "generals" in their child's army. My granddaughter's various therapies began almost immediately upon coming home from the hospital. It is hard to imagine shifting the very complex planning, coordinating and participation in these multiple and intense therapies to the hands of any surrogate, even the father.

Although I have not discussed this with her, I know my daughter would not have considered occasionally bringing her daughter to work with her as a substitute for actually retiring from her high powered job so that she could give her daughter what she needed and deserved. And I am proud to report, this precious child has been a joy and a triumph every step of the way.

"Courageous" would not be the adjective I would apply to Governor Palin-incredibly ambitious would be far more apt. Having versus really and truly raising five children - one with a disability - are two entirely different things. They are not just a litter of kittens.

Governor Palin impresses me as someone who can "talk the talk" but cannot "walk the walk," as evidenced by the predicament in which her oldest daughter finds herself. Of course these things happen, but when you place yourself in the position of being a disconnected and inept when an unplanned pregnancy happens under you very nose. It appears Sarah Palin's thoughts and efforts have been directed elsewhere.

I really do wonder what will happen to two of the Palin children if John McCain is elected in November. I think their mother's judgment and priorities are indeed questionable and that is a pretty disquieting thought for someone who might be "a heartbeat away" as they say.

Zanna Tilson

Kennett Square, PA

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