You know, the thought of this post has been with me a while but I haven't had the chance to sit down and write it, and honestly I don't know why right now I decided it was time.
I take the girls out a lot, they go almost everywhere with me. Just me and my girls. The grocery store, the mall, the park, the doctors office, everywhere. I always got a lot of looky loos at Poppy, she was/is a cutie if I do say so myself, and I never thought it would be any different with Ola. She has the craziest head of hair, that 9 times out of 10 sparks a conversation with the clerk, the shopper, the patients....whoever. When people would tell me Poppy was cute, I would take it with a smile, say Thanks and be on my merry way. I never thought twice about it. (She also had the crazy head of hair, plus like I said before she was cute!)
When people look at Ola and tell me what a cute baby I have I couldn't help but wonder if they notice the Ds. From looking at her everyday I have to admit that the Ds has taken a backseat in the way that I look at her. I don't notice the Ds. I just see a happy, crazy-haired, smiley 16 week old. Does the cashier at the grocery store notice? I am sure the answer is yes, and maybe if they arn't positive of the Ds I am sure they think that there is something.
I have to admit that these thoughts used to make me quickly say thanks on the cute compliment, and walk away. Now it is a different story. I let people comment on whatever they do, and then I tell them, point blank, no sadness, no fear, my daughter has Down syndrome. Sometimes they say nothing and carry on, sometimes they smile and tell me a story of a friend of a neighbor who's sister has Ds, and sometimes like on the Ferry the other day, they look at me, quit the nice conversation we were having and turn away.
I am assuming that this man just didn't know what to say. I am sure he didn't mean to be rude. I know that he will teach his young son not to stare at people who are different, and I hope that he thought about his actions and he might respond differently next time.
These things used to bother me, and I was always worried, should I tell them she has Down syndrome? should I not?
I should, because I am a proud Ds mama and I don't care who knows it! besides, every time I tell someone I feel like I am educating the public on Ds. I am telling them that not only older women have children with Ds, That parents and siblings of children with Ds are like any other family on the block, and that honestly we ROCK!