The Day When A Stranger Recognizes My Son's Down Syndrome
There will come a day very soon that I am still torn over.
I think of this day often, even though I have no idea when it will come. It could be tomorrow. It could be next month. It could be next year.
It's the day when someone looks at my son and says "My [insert family member here] has Down syndrome, too!"
It's the day when he is no longer the cute baby in the stroller at the mall, but he is the cute baby with Down syndrome in the stroller at the mall.
I think the day is coming soon. The double-take has started. When I am carrying my son down the hall at his big brother's school, and the moms give us the double take. When people give me the sympathetic smile after they take a good, long look at Henry. I wonder, "Do they know?" And more importantly, "Why do I care?"
There is nothing wrong with someone mentioning to me that they know someone with Down syndrome. After all, this is the coolest, most inclusive club I've ever had the awesome pleasure of being a part of.
To me, it will just be the end of an era. It will signify the end of the days when my son is just my son, and not my son with Down syndrome.
But here's where I am torn.
It will also be the start of a new era. An era in which we can show others how not-scary Down syndrome is. That here we are, a family just like yours. Waiting in line and spending way too much money at Target, just like you. Trying to convince my toddler to keep his shoes on, just like you. Dropping my kids off at school, just like you. One of my kids just happens to have Down syndrome.
So, while I enjoy the time now when my son is just my cute son, I think I am also beginning to look forward to the day that my son is my cute son with Down syndrome, showing you how totally awesome life can be.