It’s World Down Syndrome Day today and I have a few years (almost) 4 of exploring this syndrome. I look back at when my daughter was first born and boy did I not have a clue, not a single one. Down Syndrome is not the ideas or statistics that all the specialists and doctors throw at you as you hold your baby in your arms. It’s not the heart defects, the low muscle tone, the developmental delays, don’t get me wrong it’s part of it but it’s not all of it. I know that there are moms out there who are holding your baby for the first time who have just been given the news that your baby has an extra chromosome. I wish I could be there next to each one of you, to give you a big hug to tell you that it’s going to be okay. I want to tell you that your baby needs you just like any other baby, that your child is going to do so much. I would tell you that she may not walk when other kids do but she will and when she does, there will be no holding her back. She may not talk when other kids talk and guess what that’s okay too because eventually she will and she will have lots and lots to say. There are so many lessons that your little one is going to teach you, so get your pencils ready. I don’t know what your little one has in store for you but I can tell you from my own experience that Leah has taught me the meaning of true-unconditional love. She has taught me patience. She has taught me to trust, to love, to understand and to hope. She has shown me that there is good in most people, she has taught me to smile, to care, to speak up. I could go on and on about all the things I have learned in the past 3.5 years. Just know that this is not a death sentence, this is not the end of your life, this is the beginning. You will explore parts of your life and world and heart that you never knew existed. So love and trust in your little one that it is going to be an adventurous trip but one so worth taking with a fabulous tour guide.
I want to be honest. I want to address the mothers at the playground, you know who you are? The ones who stare at me with pity, disgust, I am not quite sure as I can’t quite read the look through your giant coach bag and your iPhone 6 you have in your face. I was making obvious that these are seriously shallow women, did you get that? Good, moving on. Maybe I am bitter because I can’t afford an iPhone 6 nor a Coach purse, hell maybe I am even a little bit jealous. Money is so wasted on people who clearly don’t appreciate it. Do you know what I could buy for $1,000, I could get an entire year’s worth of clothes, several pairs of shoes, a purse, sunglasses, accessories, and still have money left over, so take that you overpriced Coach purse. Anyway I am wayyyy off topic here. Where was I? Oh yes you, shallow mom at the playground. You barely come up for a glance at your own kid. You saw me coming, you saw my daughter, who yes NEWSFLASH has Down Syndrome. She is the friendliest kid in the world and the cutest if I do say so myself. And your kid well….let’s just say he might want to work on his personality because score he did not in the looks department; hey I said I was being honest here. You and your aggressive, bratty offspring treat us like we have the plague. You treat us as if you or your child have any interaction with us the Down Syndrome might rub off. Don’t worry you can’t catch it. It’s a chromosomal disorder not the Chicken Pox you twit. If you would allow your child to interact with mine it might teach him a thing or two about patience, empathy, kindness, you know the things most parents want their children to be. I can tell at first glance that you are the kind of person I do not want to get to know at all. You don’t even smile at my daughter when she gives you a HUGE hello, not even a crack of a smile, nothing. You must have a seriously miserable life, or maybe you were just having a bad day. I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Fast forward 2 weeks later, well looky who it is AGAIN, you sure get around to the playgrounds, considering you don’t like playing with your children at all, seems like an odd place to frequent, don’t ya think? My daughter again says hello as she does to everyone and yup there it is……Yup it’s confirmed you are a Bitch. You don’t even acknowledge her, you don’t even crack a smile. Good luck with thinking that your kids are the most perfect beings that walk the planet. I watch your son cry as you ignore him, he just wants you to look at him, to notice his existence. Whatever is on your phone screen is clearly more important and he knows that. Learn a lesson in acceptance, just smile at a child that says hello to you, say hello for God’s sake. Would it kill you to smile, kill you to act like other people besides yourself matter? Teach your children, to love, to have respect, to accept, and to have empathy. If you teach these to your kids you will be the proudest mom that ever lived. Right now, not so much. This is how I was feeling after returning home from a playground a few weeks ago. This is how I feel a lot of the time, when people treat us like we are not like them, like we are beneath them. As I think about it now, I realize I would never ever be friends with someone who acts that way towards my child, so no loss, it doesn’t really matter what she or people like her think of me or my family. At the time that it happens, it stings, it hurts, it’s a reminder that we are different. But then I come home and realize that different is good, different is okay by me.