I think somethings snapped.
Last night I came out to use the computer and saw a young mother with a beautiful little boy of 8 months. We chatted briefly and his eyes grew huge while looking at me ... kind of like he was trying to fit all of me in. I didn't say anything to Mom 'cause I wasn't quite sure but he looked like he had Down Syndrome. But it could have gone either way. So, I let it go and we just chatted. Smiling I went to work on the computer.
Afterwords I was thinking about her and the thought popped into my mind, "Gosh, I really hope he is." Forgetting for a second that we lived in a world that devalued kids with Down Syndrome and disability, I just thought about the 'ride' that mom was in for - the unexpected joys - the land that she was about to become a citizen of - the opportunity to relearn and redefine joy. I guess it was because I'd spent a couple days talking with some mom's of kids with Down Syndrome, maybe because I'd just spent some time talking to a young guy with Down Syndrome who was with his family at a conference, maybe it's because I'm finally at the point of realizing that disability does not equal tragedy.
I know, I know, I don't have kids. I know, I know, I don't know what it's like - really.
But, but, but, there are some many people who I meet that have had their lives so fully enriched by parenting kids with Down Syndrome. The look of the parents at the World Congress in Vancouver were like they'd been given a ticket to an exclusive club with it's own language, it's own sense of humour, it's own unique view of the world - I was suprised that there wasn't a secret handshake to go with all of it. Watching, I felt like an outsider - envious of the connection these parents had with each other and with their kids.
So forgive me, I'm not wishing Down Syndrome on some poor family, I'm wishing purpose and meaning and joy on some lucky family - because of Down Syndrome.
Something snapped in me - and I feel freed.