Friday, February 24, 2012

Deep in Conversation...

Every once in a while, you get a heartwarming reminder of just how cool it is to have an extra chromosome.

Tonight, John Michael and I raced to Straw Hat Pizza to catch the tailend of a DSIA Pizza Night for adults with Down syndrome and their parents.  As a board member, I'd signed up to be there the whole time, but never actually put it on my calendar! 

While it would've been nice to have been there during dinner, I think the most important thing for us happened when the evening was almost finished.

When we walked in, we met Jeremy.  I could tell he was drawn to John Michael.  It was mutual.  They said, "Hi" and made small talk.  It didn't take long for John Michael and Jeremy to find a table and chat.  I used the time to meet a few parents who have many more years of experience raising a child with Ds and learned about some of the things they are concerned with... but that's another post... 

I love how attentive Jeremy was with John Michael. 

I think that's what struck me tonight.  We are always so busy, checking our cell phones, making sure to catch every message, every text, email, call, facebook, whatever...  Heaven forbid we should unplug and be present and in the moment!

He told Jeremy all about Elmo, sang and signed the "Slippery Fish" song and the "Wheels on the Bus" song.  (I didn't hear their conversation, but asked John Michael later on in the car what he and Jeremy talked about...) 

Jeremy listened patiently while this little 4 year old shared his deepest thoughts.

I asked Jeremy and his mom, both, for permission to snap photos and to post on my blog.

The memory this left me was one of great joy and hope.  John Michael, I think, reminded some parents of their children long ago when they were little.  It was nice to see so many parents of adults with Ds be friends and chat about things relevant to them and their adult kids' needs as they get older.  I know we'll have that with the friends we've made, too.  Long-lasting friendships with people who really know what it's like.  The good and the not so good. 

What about Jeremy stood out to John Michael?  I'd love to know...

Does he somehow "know" that they have something in common?

Time will tell...

For now, this sweet image will remain with me and I will cherish the memory.

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  1. That is such a precious story, Monica. Thank you for sharing!

  2. LOVE your boy, love this story, love you!

  3. I think what stood out to JM is that Jeremy is one of the few who was IN THE MOMENT...right? LOVE this and LOVE Jeremy...don't know if you remember but Jeremy is a bit of a baby whisperer too. I have a photo of him holding a fast asleep Joaquin on his shoulder. LOVE this! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I had forgotten, Jen! So true! He told me he has 5 nephews and nieces and he seems like such a proud uncle :-)

  5. I. LOVE. this! I spent some time this summer at a community for adults with DS and we had some kiddos with DS too, I swear the kids could tell that they were with adults like them, and the adults just LOVED all the kids.

    Those few days are still, hands down, my favorite memories from the entire summer!

  6. Oh goodness...that is "JP the Baby Whisperer",I sooo remember him,and his love for little ones! What an amazing young man!! Monica,this post is simply beautiful,and made for an awesome start to my day...thank you! Happy tears here : )
    All my love,
    Jonna(Gracie's mama)

  7. What a precious story! Made me tear up!

  8. These are wonderful pictures! I love how animated John Michael is in his conversation!

  9. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. I think Jeremy is pretty special, and I hope to meet John Michael one day. He does remind me of Jeremy when he was a young boy. I'll always be proud of him, and he always amazes me.
    Jeremy's Big Sis,

  10. I am Jeremy's uncle. He never ceases to amaze me. He knows every birthday, most anniversaries, and shows his love and kindness daily. Your son is a special gift that I know you realize. Not to mention a very handsome young man. These are very special pictures. Thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless you, your family and especially John Michael.
    He has blessed us with Jeremy.
    Uncle Wayne

  11. John Michael certainly lights up the room when he walks in. He has the same little twinkle Jeremy had as a little guy AND still has. As everyone can see in the pictures, there was a VERY special connect when the two of them met Friday night. Thank you, Monica, for the pictures and the sweet words. This will forever be in my heart. I am very proud and honored to be......
    Jeremy's Mom (Sherron)

  12. As the Program Supervisor for the City of Sacramento, Department of Parks and Recreation, Access Leisure, I can tell you that Jeremy has been a member of OUR family for too many years to count! He is extraordinaryily gifted with a positive spirit. I think this is in large part attributed to his amazing parents, who have helped us form our community programs for years. Anyone reading this post that would like to join our sports, social and fitness or camping programs for chidlren, teens and adults with disabilities or injured, ill or wounded soldiers, can visit our web site at Come on out and join in the fun! Thank you Jeremy for brining joy to us all!

  13. I loved reading this post. Great pictures. :)

  14. We are friends of Pat and Sherron and have known Jeremy for quite some time. I also teared up viewing the pictures. Jeremy is a remarkable young man and we are very proud to have him as our friend. We have seen him at various places and he always comes over and greets us and shakes our hand. He is quite the conversationalist! Thank you for sharing.

  15. I am Jeremy's Grandma. I live in a retirement home near Jeremy. He comes to see me almost every day, He is my VERY BEST FRIEND. We have good 'conversations'
    I hope that John Michael has a Grandma.
    Grandma Beth

  16. I am Jeremy's cousin. We love him so much!!