if Claire has Down syndrome. This is the first time that anyone has noticed that she has DS and commented on it. Maybe others have noticed and not said anything, but I'm glad this young man stopped and talked to us today.
The young man that asked was an employee of Walmart and I'd seen him there, smiled and said hello, but never talked to him. I was walking along and could tell he wanted to look at her, so I stopped. He came over and said how pretty she was, and remarked on her crazy hair. He paused, and I was getting ready to move on when he asked if she has Down syndrome. I smiled and said she did. He smiled back and asked "will she be able..." and I have to admit, my defenses immediately went up. Whatever it was, of course she was able! But I shouldn't have worried. He wanted to know if she would be able to be a part of Special Olympics when she got older. I assured him that if she was wanted to, she could.
We talked a little more, and he wanted to know how we knew she had DS. I explained about her heart, and that they did a blood test to tell us for sure after she was born. At the end of the conversation, he said that sometimes people make fun of others who are different, and that's why he hoped Claire could be part of Special Olympics. He said he wanted her to spend time with people like him (he doesn't have DS), and others that were her peers. It was very easy to tell Special Olympics has a big impact on his life, and I would have liked to talk to him some more, but after that he made an abrupt departure.
I've been kind of excited for someone to notice that Claire has DS. In a way, I want people to know, if only to help dispel the myths surrounding DS. I want everyone to see her as a wonderful, beautiful, awesome child who just happens to have Down syndrome. And people asking about her DS is one more way for me to accomplish that.