Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's Intimidation

Since this is the last day of “Down Syndrome Awareness Month”, even though awareness should be a priority throughout the year, I have decided to write one last post on the subject. This past Sunday we were invited to a Sunday brunch to celebrate the birth of a baby girl that our friends had last week. It was a very nice catered event. There were approximately 100 people there including the kids which made for an interesting time because most of these kids were young and running around which meant that the parents were running around looking for their kids. Many of the guests were familiar to us, but then there were a few that weren’t. It was apparent to me that a few eyes were on Amanda because she’s so damn cute of course. I suppose I noticed this more this time because I spent a good bit of the morning holding her since Robin is expecting shortly and Amanda’s no baby any more and getting heavy. The looks that we received really didn’t bother me because it wasn’t Amanda or me that were tongue-tied; it was the on-lookers. Some of the people there appeared to be intimidated by us which is a bit awkward don’t you think? I know I have this Rambo thing going on where I strap grenades and rocket launchers (oh shit, my insertion of this sentence probably has Homeland Security sneaking my blog now) on to myself, chew C4 as bubblegum and feel the need to fit in and who ever gets in my way gets a side kick to the throat. But really, the only thing that I had attached to my hip was a 2 ½ year old girl with Trisomy 21 (Extraordinary Design). I can see that being intimidating.

So once again we are right back at ignorance right. If the populace really knew what DS was, what people with DS are like and what they can accomplish than there probably wouldn’t be an intimidation factor; or maybe there would be. People would see that individuals who have DS are good hearted honest people who let you know where you stand with them on a personal level at all times. Those are qualities that are hard to come by in typical people.

I'm done rambling .



Brandee said...

It's not intimidation--it's ignorance. People need to stop looking at the differences in each other and start looking for the similarities. A child with Down syndrome, while amazing, is just a child. He laughs, loves, marvels at life, seeks new experiences, has triumphs, suffers adversity, and lives just like any other child. The only thing that makes him different is an extra chromosome. The similarities far outweigh this little difference. I have yet to meet a person who hasn't fallen madly in love with my 2 1/2 year old son once given the chance to get to know him. Why should the fact that he has Down syndrome matter. It doesn't matter to his family; it doesn't matter to his teachers; it doesn't matter to his friends who are too young to notice a difference--they only see a little boy who, like themselves, likes to build block towers, run around and kick balls, cries when he falls down, and loves to give hugs and kisses. If we would all look at the world from a child's perspective, there wouldn't be strangers staring at these children; there would be flocks of people who want to get closer to them, because they are fun, loving, and unique individuals, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.

BStrong said...

Brandee - I think intimidation is a product of ignorance. I like your comment and hope that you will continue to visit my blog.

I must warn you though, my blog isn't just about DS, but life in general and all the garbage and beauty that comes with it.

Michelle said...

I'm still trying to get over the fact that this was a catered luncheon event with 100 people to welcome a new baby! wow! people actually do that?! I can't imagine having the time to throw something like that together with a new baby!

And of course they were staring because she's so cute -and I know this because I finally saw her picture! :)

Anonymous said...

People can be just plain dumb sometimes! I plan on writing a post very soon about how frustrated I've been lately with people and their looks at us. People are just ignorant and like to intimidate people they think are unlike them. We're all the same, our kids just have an extra chromosome!

momtoAlyse said...

B- I'm thinking that you can look at this experience in two ways.

One, the way you described and wondering why people might watch you and you daughter who happens to have T21 and wonder if they are passing judgement.

Or two, that you have educated someone to the fact that, yes indeedy, you love your daughter regardless of the number of chromosomes she might have.

I choose number two!

Kim Ayres said...

I think you're paranoid - it was purely her cuteness that was intimidating

amy flege said...

very well said!! i am at the point were i just dont let it get to me anymore. i was raised wiht my cousin who is 42 with DS, so i guess i am used to it by now. I have decided they are looking at mayson because she is just too darn cute not too!!!

The Imperfect Christian said...

I'm right there with you. It irriates me to know end when people stare at my girls. Smile at them. Talk to them. Approach them. But do NOT stare at them!

BStrong said...

Michelle - Crazy ha. It was a good time. They didn’t have to do much because they hired a waitress.

Jessica - Look forward to reading. Isn’t that what blogs are for?

Momtoalyse – Good point. Choice two it is.

Kim – What do you mean paranoid, I’m not paranoid. Did someone tell you to say that? Who? Why? Are your really Kim? :)

Amy – I’m assuming that I will soon get to that point. Either that or end up in jail for minor assault:)

TIC – Carry a disposable camera and when you see someone just staring hand them the camera and tell them to take picture, it lasts longer:)

jenny said...

I'm awaiting the results of my cvs test to see why my unborn baby has a cystic hygroma, we were given all bad outcomes at first and were devastated. With the blood tests and scan we have a 1 in 2 chance of the baby having downs and you know what, we're ok with it! I never thought I would wish for a baby with downs syndrome but against the other conditions we are facing this would be good news, we love our baby already, he or she was was planned and we will do whatever it takes!