You know it's summer when you see a gaggle of kids, all in summer togs, following behind, and being followed by, adult supervision. Typically they are headed somewhere - as evidenced by wild excitement, or coming back - as evidenced by tired listless steps. Normally I pay no never mind to the sight, as commonplace as ice cream vendors on the streets of the city. But, the traffic was slow. I looked to my right. The children came by, two by two, holding hands as instructed, eyes wide looking at everything there is to see. There is more to see the younger you are. I noticed that one of the children was a boy with Down Syndrome, wearing a light blue shirt and white pants. Like all the others, he was dressed for summer. Like all the others he was delighting in seeing what was to be seen on the walk. The girl who's hand he held was distracted, suddenly when a loud noise burst from a construction site nearby. The boy held her hand and patted it reassuringly. They went ahead.
That's all I saw.
But what I felt was awe.
The history behind that boy, is a proud one.
The people behind the history behind the boy, were heroic.
The dream behind the people behind the history behind the boy, was visionary.
The faith behind the dream behind the people behind the history behind the boy, was powerful.
The idea behind the faith behind the dream behind the people behind the history behind the boy, was revolutionary.
And I got to see it.
I got to see what ideas and faith, and dreams, and people can do to make history that affects the life of one boy on one street in one city in Canada.
Parents helped a little boy get to summer camp. They probably drove him there and dropped him off. I wonder if they understood that his walk, down the street, holding hands with another child was something that was made possible by the inspiration behind the idea behind the faith behind the dream behind the people that formed the history into which their child would enter and continue on.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Great image in this blog, Dave. I really "saw" this boy and girl as I read the post. The power of this dream is felt here, too, in the United States. I have also seen it in other parts of the world. So, to the parents of that boy on that street in Canada and to the other dreamers of hope for all boys and girls with differences and diverse attributes around the world.....please keep dreaming. Dreams come true....thank you Dave!!
I think that those parents probably know. They may not know the specifics but I think that they probably have had to defend his right to live. With the abortion rates for fetuses who test positive for Down Syndrome I think that they probably already know that some people think that their son's life is not worth living. I think that they may have had to fight to get him into that group of children you saw walking down the street.
Today I am going to see my friend inducted into the Y's Sports Wall of Fame (we're a small town - we do walls not halls). He has Down Syndrome. He is a very good athlete. He is in his late 20s. My brother who would have been in his mid 50s now lived most of his life in an institution. He was a good athlete. There was never even a possibility of him being on anyone's wall of fame. So have we made progress - yes. But my friend's parents still have to fight for him, he still experiences rejection and ridicule and loneliness. We have such a long long way to go.
Sorry to be somewhat negative here but I think that we are still engaged in this battle - it has just moved to a different battle field - from institutions to communities. And yes sometimes we can see small victories but they are so very fragile.
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