Most mama's like me who have differently-abled kids know exactly what I'm talking about. I could probably stop right here and not say another word. But for the rest of you, I'll explain.
The look says "Oh - I'm sorry...".
It says "That poor family...".
It says "How did that happen? She's so young!".
If we happen to be in the check-out behind someone with a 'healthy' or 'typical' baby, well Lord have mercy. I can see the guilt oozing from that new mama - who was quite perky just a minute ago. Her look says "Ohh - I'm so sorry you got one that was damaged, instead of one like mine".
Well guess what, lady? I didn't want one like yours. That's right - you heard me. I chose this kid. Yes, I knew he had Down syndrome. I knew he would struggle with things that your baby will learn quickly. I knew he'd log hundreds - no, probably thousands - of therapy hours before he graduates high school (and yes - he will graduate high school). I knew things would be different. I knew it would be challenging.
|Does this look like the face of a kid who deserves your pity?|
And don't feel sorry for Carter, either. Knowing that everyone pities you is no way to go through life. This kid will have to work harder than his friends. He'll have to put in more effort than his siblings. He'll have to try harder than his teammates. But don't pity him. Because some day, when your baby is 17 and screaming at you because you won't buy her $94 designer jeans - my kid will be asking if he can have another banana.
It's the tradeoff.
Just treat us like normal people. Like a normal family. Treat Carter like a normal kid. Because really - in most ways, that's exactly what he is.
I'm just sayin'.
One Thing I Know For Sure: Blessed - so, so BLESSED to be this boy's mama. Don't pity me.