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.