One the greatest things about having a child with Down syndrome is the connection you instantly have with over 1 million other families throughout the world. Although each one of our children are an individual and different in many ways, the path we walk as parents is very similar despite differences in race, religion, or politics. I love that a child with Down syndrome is recognized immediately and without having to say a single word, two mothers who cross paths on the street can form a bond with no more than a glance to both children and a big smile to one another.
We had one such encounter this morning on our walk to school. We passed a mother and her handsome elementary aged son. A quick glance at Antalya and her face lit up with a grin. Mine followed suit. Although she was engaged in a conversation with another mom, she stopped to say hello to Antalya and tell her what a beautiful pink coat she was wearing. We in turn shared a few words and then waved goodbye.
Albeit brief - our small interaction made my day. Without saying more than a few words, I felt connected to someone. And not just anyone - but a mother who understands what I feel. A mother who has fought for the education and acceptance of her child, a mother who has spent nights worrying about the health of her child, a mother who has been to appointment after appointment to make sure her little one is getting all the care they need, a mother who understands about sensory issues, eating issues, and sleeping issues, a mother who has felt indescribable joy when her child learned to clap their hands, or sit up on their own, or take their first step, or use their first sign, a mother knows words like OT, PT, T&A, CPAP, ENT, IEP, EI, a mother who knows how frustrating communication can be sometimes. A mother who knows all the love I feel for Antalya because she feels the same for her son.
Today I am reminded that the common thread of Down syndrome that I share with so many is one of the greatest blessings in my life.