October 9, 2010

Shock to My Heart

The other day I was talking to my friend about how I sometimes wonder if people know Rachel has Down syndrome. For example, if I'm out at a store and someone comments on how cute she is are they quietly wondering to themselves why she looks different than most kids? Why she is so small when I tell them she is 10 months old (I say her adjusted age to avoid explaining why she looks so small for a one year old!)? I told my friend I wouldn't care if people asked or noticed because I would rather they say something then walk away without.

Sometimes I think life has a way of giving you what you need. Yesterday at Carter's, my heart got a little shock. I was with Rachel and one of the store employees came over to see if we needed any help. She knelt down to "talk" to Rachel. The usual "Oh, she's so cute!" was followed by "She has Down syndrome, right?" BOOM. I think my heart stopped for a second. That was the first time anyone has ever asked me that question. Without skipping a beat I said "yep." I never in a million years thought I would feel that jolt. Maybe I still have some healing to do - even a year after her birth.


  1. Lucy is three, and I still get that jolt. I often wonder if it ever goes away. I figure it's mostly because when I look at her, I don't *see* Down syndrome (well, sometimes, when she's really tired! haha). I just see Lucy. That's what her face looks like to me. I sometimes forget what it looks like to someone else.

  2. We think the same thing!! Don't feel alone!!

  3. Thanks for sharing this Maggie. And I know how you feel. That has happened to me once already, and I've decided that my response from now on will be, "Yes. Isn't he beautiful?"

  4. I feel it, too. I suppose because somewhere there's an unspoken, "She's cute! And the most important and obvious thing about her is that she has Down syndrome."
    At the same time, though, I always hesitate to approach other parents if LC and Jace aren't with me. Do I walk up and say, "HEY! I've got one of those!" I never know how to approach another team member without triggering them to put their guard up. Always interesting...

  5. Thank you for sharing this. Your blog is wonderful. It's a wonderful insight. I'm sure someone has mentioned this before, but have you been to Kelle Hampton's blog Enjoying the Small Things? Her daughter was born in January 2010 (I think) and she has DS also. It's a beautiful blog.

  6. Maggie! I so know the feeling! My sister didn't have Down's Syndrome, but we always got that comment.. She looked normal but didn't act normal, so people would always stare and ask "is she retarded?".. I always felt that jolt to and it never goes away.. I will only go away when the world learns to accept the beauty of people as they are!
    You have an angel and that's all that matters, no matter what people ask!

  7. Elizabeth is almost 6 years old and I am still very sensitive when we are out. When people look at her I always wonder are they looking at her because of the way she walks or are they looking at her because she is cute (I am biased).
    I think the most important thing is people see how happy you are to have such a sweet little girl and the smiles from Rachel shows how happy and loved she is.

  8. Rachel IS beautiful !!!
    I'm so glad you have her.
    Statistics show that most DS babies are aborted ... so it isn't suprising that many people (younger generations) do not know what DS is or its character traits. They just see someone who looks and acts different.

    Have you ever seen this...

    I like the one that say *My extra chromosone makes me extra cute*


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