Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Can People Tell?

Reading a post at lunch from Finnian's Journey got me thinking...We've often wondered if Sweet Pea's DS characteristics would become more obvious as she grew up and we were pretty certain that they would.  At first, that was a very hard idea to deal with, but now it is just a fact of life.  It appears that it is already happening as in the last 48 hours we have had two separate instances where people have recognized the signs...

1) We were at our local park celebrating another friends 1st birthday on Sunday.  As we were leaving we ended up seeing an older man with DS right in front of us.  He turned around and said hi to Sweet Pea and then said something that we didn't understand, but his mom who was with him obviously did as she responded "no, she doesn't".  After a few seconds my husband and I figured out what he had said and responded, "yep, she has Down syndrome".  The mom was shocked and said that her son could always tell.  He was very proud of himself and gave his mom a big kiss on the cheek.  Turns out that he is 39 years old and his mom told us what a blessing Sweet Pea would be to us even if it seemed hard now.  We thanked her and told her that we were starting to see things that way.  When I told my mom about the encounter later she explained that it might have been the "young boy" that she had taught through the local park system when I was a baby!  His mom would come to the classes and she remembers them to this day.  What a small world!

2) We were at Trader Joe's yesterday and as I was checking out the checker started talking about how her cousin has Down syndrome like Sweet Pea.  She goes on to say how smart she is and how she never had any health problems or anything.  The way this lady was speaking it was clear that she wasn't just embellishing.  This gal really was smart and very typical.  It makes me think that maybe she had mosaic DS or something, but it really doesn't matter.  The point is that she recognized that Sweet Pea was special and wasn't afraid to talk about it. 

I think it will continue to be easier to tell that she is extra special and that is ok.  While I'm sure it will cause some awkward stares from some, I bet other people will be more willing to introduce themselves and share how someone with DS touched their lives.  It's amazing how many people have a link to someone with DS and yet I had not a clue about it before Sweet Pea was born.  Just another example of how Sweet Pea is making me a better person.


  1. That's interesting about the man at the park. When Marissa was a baby, baby. Probably 2 or 3 months, we were at her cardiologist & there was a teenager w/ DS that came out from seeing the Dr. He came over to see the "new baby" and within seconds he asked his mom & dad, "she's like me, isn't she?" he was such a nice kid, pleasant, smart, immediately gave me hope for the future.

  2. I always wonder if people can tell too, as I get such different responses. Sometimes people have no clue and ask if Chase is walking, but other times when I casually mention in conversation that Chase has DS, the other person says that they had already noticed. I think it's probably easy for people to tell if they have a connection to someone with DS, whereas your average Joe who doesn't think about DS all the time (like us!) might not realize.

  3. I have also had the same thought and I think that Mer is right. If someone knows someone w/ DS then they see it right away. Otherwise, they think that something is just odd. So far, as R gets older, this issues matters less and less.

    I am really enjoying your blog so far. Thank you for writing it.