I wish there were some sort of hand signal or gesture that meant, “I love a person with Down syndrome.” Kind of like “Honk if you love Jesus,” except it wouldn’t be honking.
Peter and I were in Kennebunkport, Maine, over the weekend, and we saw three different individuals with Down syndrome. Our kids were in Acadia National Park with my aunt, uncle, and cousin, so Penny wasn’t around.
First, I saw a woman with Down syndrome in town walking around with her family. Then, a man in Cape Porpoise was coming out of the spot where we picked up lunch. And then, during a few glorious hours on Goose Rocks Beach, we got to watch a dad with his young son. This boy rejoiced at a kite getting up in the air, raced down the beach barefoot, and delighted in splashing in the water.
We passed by them later and I just wanted them to know that we love someone with Down syndrome too. We take delight in who your son is. We are so glad he is in the world.
I don’t know if he needed to know that we have walked in his shoes, that we have wondered whether other people notice our child, that we aren’t always sure whether people notice with delight or judgment. I don’t know if he needed to know that our child is still a delight.
I wish we had a secret sign to tell him some of that. Instead, we made eye contact. We smiled. Peter said, “Hey, how’s it going?” And he chased after his son who ran with exuberance towards the sea.
More with Amy Julia:
- Stubbornness and Down Syndrome
- Down Syndrome Community…16 Years After Penny Was Born
- Free Resource: Missing Out on Beautiful: Growing Up With a Child With Down Syndrome
- Book: A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny
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