Not too long after Samantha was born, and I discovered blogs as a source of information and support, I craved a look into the future, constantly searching for the ones about the older children and adults with Down syndrome. I needed that, but it was very, very difficult to find. I mean, my baby was only little and most of the blogs were certainly about people who were older than Samantha, but I needed to see the glimpse beyond that, beyond the 2 and 3 year olds.
Those blogs are still few and far between (I may have to do a post one day soon with a list of such blogs that I've come across so far, for those of you who are interested), but about 2 years ago (has it been that long?) I discovered Adventures With Beth, and have loved following along ever since. Beth's mother, Cindy, chronicles their everyday life, the joys and frustrations, the fun and beautiful things their family does together, and how ordinary their lives are. I had needed to know that the center of my universe would no longer be Down syndrome, and that I would soon experience that ordinariness myself.
And when I realized that we would be spending time in their neck of the woods, Cindy was the first person I told, thrilled at the prospect that we might get to meet IRL (again, that's in real life for those of you not in-the-know...). And we totally made it happen.
I know I have been using the term warm to describe the people we'd been meeting on our trip, but seriously, without consulting a thesaurus, that's totally, exactly what adjective describes this family, without a doubt. Warm, friendly, so, so easy to talk to, genuine. Beth was very quiet, matched only by Samantha, who retreated into her little shell until a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and potato chips were presented to her by the waitress. Chuck, Cindy and I shared stories of Ancestry.com adventures, Diana spoke about her recent trip to England, Sammi stuck her nose into her PB&J, Beth enjoyed her omlette, and I practically inhaled the delicious potato pancake with apple sauce that I'd ordered, something I had never before seen on a menu (if anyone can recommend somewhere locally I can find these, please let me know! I'll be a friend for life!). Beth brought Samantha a Dr. Seuss book which Sammi initially refused, but which became her favorite for the rest of our trip, reading it over and over and over again, in the car, on the airplane, at bedtime...you name it.
I'm sad that our visit was so brief, but hopefully next time we're out that way, we'll be able to get together for a longer period of time.
Oh, how I loooooove this photo...
Loooooove this one, too, and looooooove this family!!