Diana and I were at the mall a while back and we saw a mom with a stroller and the little girl inside looked like she had Down Syndrome. The moment we saw her, we both looked at each other with huge smiles and got so excited!
Course, we felt like we had to be cool around the mom, we didn't want to seem creepy. We were in a store, so we went around a few displays and came back to them again. She was with 2 other women and they were on a mission, you could tell. They were shopping for something specific and kept talking and looking at things, anxious to find what they were looking for.
It's so exciting to meet someone who has that little something extra! Diana and I kept trying to find a way to introduce ourselves without being overwhelming and then I got a little nervous. Her daughter was maybe 2 years old, maybe mom wasn't thrilled to have a baby with Ds? Maybe she was in that stage of anger or denial? How could we approach her, when mom maybe didn't even want to talk about it? I really wanted to be sensitive to her situation.
We decided to just leave the store cause we felt like we were being stalkers. There was another store Diana needed to go to and after being there a few minutes we turned around and wouldn't you know it, there was the mom again! Diana and I looked at each other, KNOWING we had to say something, but what? What should we say??
As she walked by, I smiled at her little girl, she smiled back at me (mom was so focused she didn't even see me) and I wondered, 'Wait a second, does she have Down Syndrome?' Her face was SO familiar, I began to wonder. How do you say, "I have a daughter with Ds too!" when this little girl actually might not have Ds.
I tried to focus on her eyes, 'Were her eyes almond shaped? Was that really the face of a little girl who has Ds?' I started to get so nervous, I wasn't sure anymore! And then they left the store.
We wandered down the mall in the direction we thought they had gone but never saw them again. I truly wonder if she really did have Ds. That face has become such a familiar part of our lives that it's hard for me to recognize it anymore.
It's no longer the face of Down Syndrome. It's the face of Beth.