Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Y'all are some good eggs!
I knew that the day would come when someone--a stranger, would ask me if Alexis had Down syndrome. It happened yesterday at the McDonald's playground. I was talking to a dad and he asked, "does she have Downs?"
It's not that I've been dreading it, or worried about it really. Jason and I realize that the older Alexis gets, the more noticable the characteristics become. But I think that I've heard so many stories from people who hear others say really dumb or hurtful things, I've kinda been waiting for it to happen to me. It hasn't.
I've heard of people whose baby is diagnosed prenatally and are then urged by their doctor or family to have an abortion. I've heard of people who will have friends that "can't handle" being around a child with Down syndrome and end the relationship. And it's absoulutely shocking to me because these are people that they know and trust.
Alexis is almost 11 months old. I've known about her Down syndrome for 16 months. And I have had no one tell me I shouldn't have given birth to Alexis. No one has severed a relationship with me because of my daughter.
The man at McDonald's was curious but kind: Was she a Riley baby? No, St. Vincent. Does she get services through First Steps? Yes. When we took the kids to swim lessons tonight, we ran into one of Lexi's NICU nurses who couldn't believe how Alexis had grown and how healthy she looked (double ear infections and all!). There was also an 11 year old girl sitting next to us who couldn't stop gushing about Alexis and how sweet and cute she was. So far, everyone who has interacted with Alexis--family, friend, or even stranger, has done so with kindness.
I know that the day will come when things aren't so rosey. It's part of life. My boys don't have Down syndrome and they will both come home from school from time to time telling me something hurtful that someone said to them. It happens. And when it happens, we'll deal with it with as much grace as we can. But luckily, I know with absolute certainty that the happiness Alexis will experience in her life will far outweigh anything negative.
My children have changed me I think. I've always had a warped sense of humor and a very sarcastic streak. But my cynicism has been significantly curbed. Yes, the world can be a scary place. But the people in our lives, our family, our friends, and even the random playground dad or swimming pool preteen, are good.