A few days after Rachel was born we met with Dr. Chad (yes, Dr. Chad) the geneticist. In going over information about Down syndrome, he explained how the minds of people with Down syndrome work. Imagine you go to a building every day and you use the elevator every time but one day there is a fire. You would know to find the stairs. He explained that unless a person with Ds was shown the stairs in that particular building, they wouldn't know that there were stairs in the building to use even if they knew of stairs in a different building. They wouldn't be able to connect the two together - if there are stairs in one building, there must be stairs in another building. I don't know why this explanation has stuck with me for these last 3 years but it has. I always thought that was "the truth", a given in the development of my Rachel.
This weekend we were in the backyard. We got Rachel and Charlie a used play house for outside. In this play house is a very crude kitchen that consists of a small plastic faucet and a sticker for a stove burner. As I was standing near it, Rachel got my attention, pointed to the faucet and proceeded to sign "wash hands" and "water." I was thrilled! At first because she initiate signing which she is slowly becoming better about but then my mind flashed back to Dr. Chad and his explanation. If what he said was "the truth", then how would Rachel know what that facet was? How would she know if I hadn't shown it to her and told her what it was and if it didn't have water coming out of it? How did her mind connect the real faucet from our house to a cruddy plastic faucet in a small play house?
Everyone always says that doctors don't know everything, and I believe that and have said that, but for some reason I let this one explanation from one doctor be "the truth" so far in Rachel's life. I am now moved to my core by how blindly I let myself be led into believing that. Thank you Rachel for reminding me of the real "truth". That you are your own person and no one, even a doctor, can tell me what to expect from you. I just need to keep setting my expectations high because I know you will meet them.