I saw someone with Down Syndrome today.
Sitting in a baby chair.
In a restaurant.
His mom was trying to feed him.
His dad was trying to distract with with play.
They were all laughing.
Mom said, loud enough to be heard, 'I just love you two boys.'
Dad said, loud enough to be heard, 'And I love you too,' then he kissed first her, then him.
Loving out loud. Loving out proud. Loving outrageously. Loving defiantly. Loving in full view. No closets. No basements. No attics. No institutions. No back wards. No hidden places. Being family. Being parents. Being together. Being being. No apologies. No reservations. No limitations. No exceptions.
Loving as a political act.
He kissed them.
She loved them.
They laid claim to each other. They laid claim to their child. They laid claim to their life as a family. They laid claim to their right to be - all of them to be - where they were, doing what they were doing, loving as they were loving. They laid claim to the life they had together. They laid claim to the journey they had ahead of them. They laid claim to the bond that would unite them. They laid claim in clear view. They laid claim in public. They laid claim to the love that made their child, the love that formed his hands, the love that gave life.
This child. Their child. Their joy. Their hope. Their love. This child. Their child. Was not a 'wrongful birth'. Was not living a 'wrongful life'. This child. Their child. Did everything right. His eyes sparkled when his dad played with him. This child. Their child. Did everything right. He made his mother laugh till she cried. This child. Their child. Did everything right. He made them family.
He loved his wife.
She loved her husband.
They loved their child.
Their child loved them back.
A moment in time. A moment that was timeless. A moment that testified to the power of love, the power of laying claim, the power of family. Family.
Sometimes love is a political act.
Sometimes family is an act of rebellion.
Sometimes hearts do just what they are supposed to do.
Some who were born right live wrongful lives. Some who were born different live bountiful lives. Some think they can predict the future. Some think that they know the path another's feet will follow. Some don't know what they don't know.
And a gift was given.
A small gift.
The woman who came to take their trays from their table. Wore a wedding ring. Earned a paycheck. Contributed to society. That woman. That woman. Noticed the baby. Glanced at the parents. Spoke.
'What a beautiful boy.'
Then she smiled and said,
'He has Down Syndrome like I do.'
She left them at their table as she went back to work. Work. Somewhere, someone, is telling someone, somewhere, that something more means something less. That an one more gene means many fewer dreams. Someone, somewhere, is wrongly misleading someone, somewhere.
Everything is right.