A couple of weeks ago there was a woman on one of those daytime talk shows that made some nasty comments about people with disabilities in general, and specifically about Down syndrome. I don't watch much TV, let alone daytime shows, so I missed them comments themselves, but from the posts that popped up all over Facebook, I can imagine the things she was saying.
And for the most part, those people don't hurt me.
Usually, I feel sorry for them. When they choose to broadcast ignorant, hateful, disrespectful words, to try to bring others down to make themselves feel better, I feel pity.
Those people are on the outside. They don't understand acceptance and love, and they probably never will.
I expect ignorance from people who don't know anyone with Down syndrome. I was there. Before Claire my assumptions of what life with Down syndrome would be like were inaccurate, outdated and just plain wrong.
I expect more from people who are part of our lives though. When someone actually KNOWS Claire, has seen this smile and the joy she radiates, and all they can say is "her life is going to be so hard...", that's when I feel like I've failed.
Seriously? That's all you've got to say? Nothing about her hard work, perseverance, or determination?
Nothing about her great smile and contagious laugh, or about what a little charmer she is? Or about how easy going she is, or even the stereotypical comment about how happy she is all the time? (if you'd seen any of her recent temper tantrums, this comment wouldn't pass your lips)
Nothing about how great it is to slow down and really celebrate the accomplishments and milestones that usually fly by so fast?
So, to the person who made the comment about Claire's hard life....Open your eyes. There no reason to think Claire's life is going to be any harder than yours. Her extra chromosome doesn't mean hardship and despair, any more than your typical chromosomes mean things will always be rosy for you. You have an amazing PERSON in your life will be able to teach you so much, if you give her the chance.
I know this post is preaching to the choir, but since I don't know which of my acquaintances (or friends?) made the comment, this is where I get this off my chest....