Wednesday, July 6, 2011

a long way...

"they all look the same" funny how this statement makes me cringe...first "they" has a name and is human...second..."the same" is a fallacy...yesterday we took our BIG trip to Rapid City to reptile gardens and bear country...Rapid is 4 hours from our home so it is a LONG yearly trip...but sooo worth it...I knew I was going to enjoy the day when we were visiting the giant tortoises and a man with Down Syndrome came in and joined us at our tortoise...it was the first time I did not judge...the first time I did not panic...the first time I said hi and made eye contact with him and his family...they slightly smiled at us...but then they saw Maddie and huge smiles from all of them to us...the connection was made...the instant family was born...I have learned to be comfortable with these encounters...and what screamed out at me was that he looked just like his parents...he did not look like every other man with Down Syndrome...the stereotypes get old...not 10 minutes later we went inside to see the komodo dragon and there was a sweet family with a little guy with Down Syndrome...instantly I was drawn to them...and I noticed the back of his neck...I love the back of Maddie's neck...then I heard his laugh and noticed his mannerisms...and I knew...before I even saw his face...not because he "looks the same" but he has the unique perfection of my Maddie in his bounce...I went over to them and introduced myself...this is not me...I am not one to say hi or even smile at people...I just am not social anymore...but I had to...me and Maddie walked over and the first thing I saw was how much the little guy looked like his dad...gone were the facial features of Down Syndrome...and the cute glasses that matched Maddie's...but a little boy that fell in love with my Maddie...he was so taken with her...and her with him...they smiled at each other...had a brief conversation...hugged and held hands for a minute...he joined us for the bird show...and it was comfortable...it was nice...and I did not feel like we were being looked at or judged...just families enjoying a good ol American day...last year I would have left Rapid City crying and in shock of my encounters...I would have thought the people were smiling at us because they felt sorry for us...today I just do not care...when I was getting ready for the trip and packing...I went to the store and the pregnant cashier...was taken back by Maddie...and was visibly upset by the possibility of having a child like mine...but I have to say not every family can be as lucky as ours to have a child like us...because truly we are the lucky ones to have Maddie in our lives...people who choose not to give chromosomally enhanced a chance...are the ones that "look the same"...

13 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a personal break-through on this trip. Thank goodness for moments like that.

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  2. Your words brought tears to my eyes!

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  3. Really loving this post right now. . . I'm so jealous because I rarely encounter other kids with DS when we are out and about. I would love to meet other sweet angels like mine ;-)

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  4. Beautiful words! Just reading your post make me feel happy and willing to be in the same trip with you guys.

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  5. Oh that made me SMILE ! That instant connection is such a rare jem in this world! Youv'e come such a long way in this past year Enjoy! Viv

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  6. I'm going to admit, I am the one that runs over to anyone I see with DS and their family and start talking. I assume they want to talk to me to. (It helps since to be this way esp since I help start up our local DS group). I do feel like we are all part of a special club and feel joy when I meet another club member. I am so glad that was your day. It went as it should have and it sounds wonderful. :)

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  7. So funny because while in Ft. Bragg over the weekend I searched the beach, the parade and every other place we went for another child or person with Ds...but didn't see one! A year ago I would have tried my best to avoid it and now every place I go I seek it out. We are without a doubt the lucky ones!

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  8. I love the way you word your thoughts. If the whole world could view people with Down syndrome with our eyes and see the beauty of the individual before them, would that not be wonderful!

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  9. Those connections with kindred spirits are just awesome!

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  10. I love it when that happens!

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  11. Its the best part of the journey for sure. REal connection is such a precious gem in this world. Viv Owen mum

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