Yesterday, we went shopping at Costco. The two little boys were in the cart and Carter was pushing it around a bit too fast, steering eratically. As I was trying to prevent mishap, I looked up and realized we’d narrowly avoided bumping into a teenaged boy with Down syndrome.
Oh, how I wanted to hug that boy! And then say something totally inappropriate, like, “This is my son AVERY! He has DOWN SYNDROME, TOO!”
I can tell it’s going to be hard on my kids to have me for a mother.
To my credit, I resisted. I merely smiled at the boy, and apologized for our crazy cart-driving. But I saw him later, with a woman I assumed was his mother. Again, I wanted to say something. And again, I was at a loss for words.
There are days when I don’t mind talking about Down syndrome; days when I can’t get enough of “who’s your doctor” and “what therapies are you doing” and “are you going to the Buddy Walk?” Then there are other days, when I just want to be seen as a family, a mother and her sons trying to get their warehouse-store shopping done. I can’t always tell what kind of day it’s going to be, myself; how can I guess what kind of day any other mother is having?
Which is why I wish we had a secret handshake. Just a little, quiet way of recognizing each other, and offering support.