Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two random conversations

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A couple weeks ago I had two conversations, one day apart.

Both of them different, but both very encouraging for me regarding the future of our little girl.

The first one was in the grocery store. I was in the checkout line behind a lady who had a little boy in the seat of her shopping cart. 
It took me about 2 seconds to realize he had Down syndrome. So I had decided to pick that line. 
Our cashier was slow, so I started a conversation. It turned out she was the grandma, and it was fun to talk to her. 
I noticed how she spoke Spanish to the little boy, so I wondered if he was bilingual. And sure enough, her daughter is from Costa Rica and she speaks both English and Spanish with him, and he understands both! 

Our oldest two daughters are bilingual (English and Dutch), so it has been our plan to teach our youngest two languages, too. 
Three even if you count sign language. I have learned that there are different opinions on that subject, 
but I have found examples of people with Down syndrome who speak 2 or even more languages. 
One thing we know for sure, if we don't try it, she for sure won't be bilingual.
So it was good for me to hear from someone else who is doing the same thing!

The day after that I was in the library with my 3 girls.
I noticed a girl, about 12 years old, sitting at a table with a girl in her early twenties. 
They were playing an educational card game. The younger girl had Down syndrome. 
I was kind of curious, but didn't want to interrupt them. So we picked our books, and the girls wanted to play at the computers, so I let them. Then I saw a third girl running over to the table. She was about the same age as the younger girl, and she hugged her. She did some small talk, and then I heard her say something like: "What you said today to X wasn't so nice, I think you hurt her feelings. I think it's better when you don't do that again." I was pleasantly surprised by the way she handled this situation, and how she kindly tried to teach her what was right and what wasn't. 

By that time I was really curious how all these girls knew each other, so I just couldn't help myself and casually walked past and let my little girl wave at them. That always seems to break the ice, and we started talking. It turned out that the older girl was hired to work with the girl with Down syndrome after school to teach her whatever she needed extra help with. I had kind of figured that out just watching them. The younger girl was a in the same school as the girl with Down syndrome, and she knew her. 

To me it was really heartwarming to realize this was a schoolmate, who was really nice and caring. 
Sometimes I can't help but wonder what the future holds for our little one, and witnessing this was just what I needed.

"31-for-21" Challenge - Day 30

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1 comment:

Sande said...

You and your family are truly blessed to have such a beautiful baby in your life. She is darling and I love the image of her pulling off her socks...too cute.

We are not blessed with a child with Down's syndrome in are family but I worked in the same store for 23 years in a very tiny town. There was a young mother that attempted for many years to have children, her and husband are sweethearts. Low and behold she get's pregnant with quads. One boy and 3 girls all beautiful. The boy was born with Down's, and what a sweet and loving baby and young man he has grown up to be. At first she was mentally destroyed not knowing how to cope with four babies no less one with special needs. But she did manage, some days were tougher than others and it made my day when she'd wheel the four of them into the store in there carriage. He is now a teenager and is loving, intelligent and she is truly blessed. So sad though her husband couldn't handle this event and walked out and away. His lost.

I have four grandchildren (1 girl & 3 boys)and my youngest grandson spent the first two months of life in Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, it was touch and go for almost a year. He was on a feeding tube, was allergic to all formula except one which was $25 a container. He was born with a Chromosome Disorder. He was missing one and had a extra tag of another. The missing one is in charge of growth and can cause may issue in life, they weren't sure he would walk. Luckily I had to take early retirement and I ended up being his caretaker while parents worked. He is a sweet young man of 5, just started school and so smart but so tiny. At age 5 depending on who makes it he wears a size 2T, and the issues have kind of been in limbo for now but were have been told, they will appear later in life. For example his brain has started to get to big for his skull and the skull won't grow, so it pushed the everything forward, the eyes are deepest and sometimes barely visible.

I use to watch him sleep and wonder why...why are babies born like this, it's just not far. I wondered about his quality of life and as the years went on how this would effect it. After making myself nearly crazy, I decided you have to just deal with a hour or day at time, embrace what you've been given, let the negative things people say roll of your back and most of all cherish the tiny things he does instead of waiting for the big ones.

He said to me one day..."you made me alive." At first I didn't know what he meant and I think I must have had a puzzled look on my face. Then he said...you feeded, changed my ugly diapers, holded me, and made me toast. I almost died laughing. I scooped him up, holded (as he says) him and said, no you made me alive.

Nothing but the best for you and your family. She will grow up to be a beautiful young lady filled with potential and give back twice fold.