(John Michael and Luke on a walk with Mom to Starbucks!)
Back in June, I posted about "Seeing Down syndrome" in John Michael. I do recognize he has features that are common in some people with Ds, but more than anything, I just see John Michael. It's the same with his local buddies as well as his cyber buddies that we've only come to know via blogs. I honestly don't see Ds in them. I mean, their features don't jump out at me and say, "Look, I have Ds." I don't mean to offend anyone here, and I realize I'm writing this in a totally awkward way that's not flowing, but here's what I mean...
Yesterday, Greta brought home a little booklet about how God made us all and the image shows a girl at the bottom of the page holding out her arms as if she's lifting the world and on the outside edge of the world are many different children from various parts of the world. Greta (age 5) says to me, "Mom, that girl has Down syndrome like John Michael." I looked at the girl and asked Greta to explain, because I didn't "see it". She said the girl's eyes were like John Michael's (meaning almond-shaped and the epicanthal folds under her eyes were noticeable). I still wasn't sure. I saw a beautiful, blond-haired girl with blue eyes and a big smile. I needed to get another opinion. I asked Anna, my 11 year old. "Oh, yeah, Mom, she totally has Ds." Really? And, finally, my husband, Doug, chimed in that he could tell by her "square smile" and her small thumbs (her fingers weren't visible).
(My view of JM on the way home... LOVE THAT SMILE!)That whole exchange really baffled me. It made me realize that I'm starting to go blind to differences and see the child for who they are, regardless of diagnosis. Maybe if I'd met the girl in person I would have noticed that she had Ds because of her speech or maybe the way she moved, I don't know... maybe not. Anyway, I just wanted to share that. Just curious, has anyone else had a similar experience?