Tonight I really felt it. The looks, the obvious stares in our direction, the wonder and the pity. I wanted to yell at them all, really give them something to stare at but I couldn't. I went about my normal business like I didn't notice them. I played peek-a-boo with Malachi and rubbed Eli's sweet head. I had a great conversation with my husband while we ate our dinner. Yet they couldn't keep their eyes off of us. I wondered if my hair was messed up or if I had something on my pants but I knew better. It would have been so easy to turn around and walk out, yet we chose to stay.
What are you looking at? Yes, I agree, my boys are adorable, but seriously people.
Oh wait, I know. Down syndrome. When we walk into a room all YOU notice is Down syndrome. Poor, poor people. What a sheltered life you lead.
Yes there are people with Down syndrome that live in your community, go to school with your kids, eat at your favorite restaurant and work at the grocery store. Do you feel sorry for them or their parents? Do you keep your children from interacting with them? Or do you stare, like you have never seen a person with almond shaped eyes and a line across their hand?
Perhaps, rather than stare, you should say hi. Comment on how cute they are or how well the play baseball. Maybe you should listen to their story, what they have had to overcome. Maybe then you wont like like a ghost when you see a person with Down syndrome walk into your location.
Maybe, just maybe you will allow yourself to fall in love with their innocence, humor and unwaivering love. Maybe then you wont stare out of ignorance but rather out of acceptance.