Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Heart

I was flipping through the channels the other day and came across Pat Robertson on The 700 Club. He was talking about the new prenatel test that can determine if your baby has Down Syndrome. He was against the test, talking about how kids with Ds have had a positive impact on their families.

Then he said, "They are such loving children."

And I rolled my eyes.

Really? 'Loving' children? He's never spent much time with Beth. She's no more loving than you or I. I've grown to dislike that cliche. I heard it a lot when Beth was born, "Aren't they such loving children?" At the time I had no clue so I'd answer, "Yes!"

But now, I wonder if that saying got started way back when children with Down Syndrome were put into institutions. (Our doctor actually suggested that to us. Even as recently as the 80's they were including 'institution' as an option.) I don't know what these institutions were like but maybe the kids were starved for affection? The nurse or care giver would come into the room and the kids would put their arms out for a hug. Maybe? I don't know, just speculating here. But maybe that's how the saying became so popular, "They're such loving children."

In my opinion, and I know this is my opinion only, people who use that phrase really don't know anything about people who have Down Syndrome. They're just repeating something they've heard somewhere. When I hear that phrase it makes me think that others think she's a robot. Only one emotion, no brains, just a walking mass who likes to hug. Beth is no more loving than the next guy. She gets angry, she gets sad, she gets frustrated. She likes her alone time and isn't afraid to tell you.

But you know what I have noticed about Beth?

She looks at the heart.

She couldn't care less if your shoes are Nike or knock-offs. She doesn't know if your purse is Gucci or Goodwill. She does care how you treat her and others. It bothers her when someone isn't nice. She notices when you're being disrespectful, if you talk when the director is talking. She gets hurt when you ignore her or say something unkind. She notices the inside of a person, their character, not their clothes or hair.

She's more like Christ than I am. She notices the heart. 

14 comments:

Becky said...

What a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes, especially your last comments. To notice the heart, be more like Christ...is that what the world needs more of? Thanks for your perspective on this because I am only fours years down this walk with me daughter and am already tired of hearing this from others about Kristen. She too has many, many emotions even at four. :)

Jenny said...

I loved this post too :)

And I agree with you. When a person says to me about Russell and Ds "They are such loving children" I know right away that that person knows nothing about Ds and so this is all they can think to say. It bothers me, always has! lol

Ruby's Mom said...

I love this post! I hate it when people say that to me too.

Nan said...

Beautiful post. I always invite people who say that to come stay at our house for a day. I'm sure an hour would be long enough to change their minds, but I am generous, so offer a day!

I love how you end this post. That Beth notices a person's heart. This is truly the gift

Erin said...

Such a beautiful post. Maybe our children are just more sensitive to others? I'm not sure. I know a lot of people talk about hating it when people say this about their child but it doesn't bother me at all. I think my Lucas is a sweetheart. He is almost always happy and content, I love that about him!

Shannon said...

beautifully written

Not a Perfect Mom said...

Love...
my youngest daughter was born with DS and I find that people say that to me all the time! And just recently I started telling them that Brooke is just like any other sassy 2 year old I know...
Must break down cliches...
Love it..
Look forward to following you, and going back and reading more!

Patti said...

I'm so glad I "found" you! I love this post!

Kristin said...

So true - and love the shadowbox, Beth!!

Mom of 12 said...

Love your honesty. My autistic son is always up front about everything. It's one of the things I love the most about him.
Sandy

Alex's Mom said...

Beautiful!

Life with Kaishon said...

Powerful. Thank you for sharing this.

Kim said...

Sounds like we could all stand to be like Beth. If my children notice those things first, then I'm doing something right.

Kim at TheSimpsonSix.blogspot.com

My Little Wonders said...

Beautifully said. :) My little one (with Ds) is looking like she is every bit as feisty and stubborn as her brothers ... yes, she is loving like they are too, but watch out world if you cross her. LOL I love what you said at the end. Thank you for sharing (and thank you for visiting my blog!).