Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 28: The Others

I was honored by being asked to write a Guest Post for Our Typical Life the other day.  Thank you, Beth, for the opportunity!  Here's what I wrote:

My beautiful little princess, at a mere 4 years old, has taught me more than I could have ever imagined in this short span of time.

I find it so interesting how, in the course of my “education,” I have not yet found a parent of a child with Down syndrome who did not eventually, within a relatively short period of time, come to love and accept their child; whose child has not brought light and understanding and joy to that parent’s life and the lives of those around them. I have not yet found a person who wasn’t changed in so many ways for the better by their child with Down syndrome. While there are still so many children out there with true medical issues, whose care and well-being rely very heavily on their parents’ time, patience, emotions and finances, those parents that I have come across still love their children unconditionally, and acknowledge the joy they have experienced through them. (Disclaimer: I do acknowledge that there are those that have given their children up for adoption, or whose families have shunned them following the birth, but I’m not referring to those situations here.)

I’m sure the ones who are not so accepting must be out there somewhere, but I imagine that those must be the ones we never hear about, the ones that don’t attend the local DSA events or post on message boards, and I imagine they’re certainly not blogging. I’ve seen people in a transitional phase, who are using blogs as a means to sort out their lingering feelings of fear and confusion. And I applaud them for their honesty, and enjoy watching their transformations, like butterflies emerging from cocoons. It’s really a beautiful sight. But where are those others? The idealist and the mother in me can’t believe that they actually exist. That they would forever be blind to the beauty, unconditional love, and potential of the child that stands before them. Likewise, have there ever been those whose hearts were hardened to people that were in any way “different” prior to giving birth to a child with a diagnosis, whose minds were changed as soon as they acknowledged their own flesh and blood and discovered the beauty of a child?

Again, I can’t believe they actually exist, although the realist in me knows they must. But what I can say from my “education” is that my daughter, and each one of the 1 in 733 out there that carry an extra 21st chromosome, are the most beautiful people, inside and out, to walk on this planet. I know that I would never change Samantha, and hope that she can make such a positive impact on the lives of everyone we meet, spreading the warmth that she radiates, teaching the lessons that we learn, fixing those that are broken. Sounds lofty for a 4 year old, but if she can teach so much to me in this short span of time, think about what she can send out into the world in her lifetime!


Anonymous said...

The "others" are out there. Trust me.

Zoey's mom said...

Every word you wrote,I agree,1000%.Beautiful piece.Thanks so much for sharing.