Monday, March 2, 2009


Steve, Samantha and I were in Home Depot last week, picking up some painting supplies for the house. Home Depot and Lowes have become our friends. Okay, who am I kidding? They've become Steve's friends. I'll say "we" until the cows come home when it comes to painting and preparing the new house, but actually Steve's doing all of it. I'm really in awe. He's been working so hard on every aspect of buying this house, and I'm sure he's completely mentally drained. And he's got Samantha in the afternoons after school finishes every day, so his hands are doubly full.

Anyway, one of the Home Depot employees, a very sweet and helpful young woman who was fawning all over Samantha, eventually said (as they all do), "Do you mind if I ask..." (as if I could actually say, "yes, I mind") "...does she have Downs?" So I told her she did, and she proceded to tell me that her goddaughter also has Down syndrome. She said that her friend, the girl's mother, has rheumatoid arthritis at only about 30 years old, and had been taking lots of high-dosage meds for the RA, and was told that this could have been the cause of her daughter's Down syndrome. Seriously? Someone in the medical field actually told her this? I can't help wondering (hoping!) that the young woman I was speaking to was just a little confused, and that there isn't another mother of a child with Down syndrome out there that thinks that the meds she took in early pregnancy caused her child's genetic anomally. Or perhaps this woman was confused about what her goddaughter actually had--perhaps it was not Down syndrome. I quickly set the woman straight, not even thinking to ask her if her friend is local and what her last name is. I think I would have felt much better about this if I knew it was someone whose name I was familiar with in the DSANV membership, because then I would know that she probably had correct information. Misconceptions about cause are so frustrating to me. But I know that people who are not exposed to the Ds community just don't know, which is fine. Like the mother of a high school ex-boyfriend, who said, "Oh, I didn't even know Down syndrome still existed..." But she just didn't know. I got a chuckle out of that one. I think that before Samantha was born, I didn't know much more than them, either, but the medical community hopefully is beginning to give better information.

Friday night I had the pleasure of meeting Jeanette from DownRightFaith while she was in town for the Affiliates in Action conference. Please check out her blog for a recap of her very productive visit to DC! We had a wonderful (but very short) time talking over dinner and a drive of the DC monuments by night. We even got stopped by President Obama's motorcade (I've been stopped by enough Presidential motorcades to know this was his, btw...)!

I'll probably be pretty scarcely/sporadically posting on my blog or on Facebook for the next few weeks, until we're settled in after the move (on the 13th). Things are pretty hectic right now.


Renee said...

Looks like you all (especially Steve) have been doing a lot of work on the house. I can't wait to see the "after photos".

Oh, I really hope that mother is not mis-informed and feeling guilty about taking medication that she had to take.

Jeanette said...

It's amazing how people "rationalize" things in their minds. I hate to think that this family thinks that their daughter is the result of a side affect. Sigh!

It was SO nice to meet you and your lovely family! I enjoyed the tour of DC. You could make some serious money as a tour guide! LOL. Samantha was ADORABLE in person and if she wasn't so leery of strangers, I would have snatched her up in a big bear hug. Especially with her being in footie pjs. There is something irresistible about those things. Anyway, thanks for everything! Good luck on the new house. It's a lot of work, but SO much fun to make it your own!

Sarah Heegaard said...

I grew up in a bi-racial family and remember all of the strange looks and comments we got over the years. We just tried to do our (small) part to educate people, one-by-one. Most people just don't know and I'd rather they ask and learn than continue being ignorant. And, yes, seriously - most people are just really, really clueless.

Monica said...

Sounds like a very exciting time for you!! Good luck with all your projects!!!

I also hope it is somehow a miscommunication to that lady, it is hard to believe that their is a mother out there in this day and age that would think it was something she did. And if she is hopefully with what you said she will finally get correct information!! Again Good luck !!

amy flege said...

are you kidding me????? wow. its amazing the mess of information out there.... ugh

Beth said...

That's just crazy about the RA and Ds. It's amazing what people don't know. Once I had a nurse (a Nurse!) ask me if my daughter had only "a little Down syndrome". I told her yes, the 21st chromosome is very small, so she has just a little of it in every cell.

Congrats on the house. And the big girl bed! The reason 3 is worse than 2 is because they get sassy then. All that hard work on getting them to talk? Well, it's going to backfire on you and you'll want a mute button!!

Little Miss E said...

Wow, she really said that? Out loud? Seriously?

Michelle said...

Wow, that's bold to say. Sounds like you handled it well.

Is Steve for hire? After painting the nursery, I'm not sure I'll get to the other rooms. It's hard work.

I just left you a blog award on my blog this evening.

ringaroundthemoon said...

Doesn't it just make you laugh what some people come out with!!
I had to get the plumber in to fix something the other day and we got talking about Gabriel and he said that his good friend has a son with Downs, and that he had got Down syndrome from a head injury after a car accident!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I explained that thats not how you get Down syndrome and explained what Down syndrome was! What can you say, some people are just plain ignorant and uneducated!
Hey congrats on the house!! I found your blog from Facebook and it is fab!

Kacey Bode said...

I am happy to report that we are done with all of our painting. We are still unpacking, but all the necessities are out so I'm good. Moving sucks, the actual moving part that is, but being in our new home is great! So have fun and enjoy!!

I'm so proud that you set that woman straight!! I too hate misinformed people. Ugh.