Monday, March 15, 2010

What is normal?

I've been taking Ralph to a music class for several months now and he likes it a lot. There are echo songs, playing with instruments like jingle bells on a stick, dancing with streamers, and parachute play, too. The only problem is that it is on Monday morning. Ick.

In an effort to be super mom we checked into an additional playgroup for Ralph on Wednesday mornings. It is a group for two year olds. I thought it might be a good idea to see how he would interact with other children in this setting. Socially I'm not really too worried about him. I was more curious.

The flashes of normalcy never cease to amaze me. You would not know to appreciate them unless you had a child with a disability, at least I never did before Ralph. At one point in the crowded playgroup room a little girl was between him and the toy he wanted to get to. Like a little angel, he said, "excuse me" and then "thank you" NOT!! He pushed her aside and I just had to giggle a bit to myself, of course.

Believe me, I hear about kids with Down Syndrome all the time. I head about what kindhearted angels they are. Oh, there is probably some truth to the stereotype, or it wouldn't be a stereotype, would it? But it really sets my child up for failure.

Ralph is a two year old child. He hits, pushes, cries, yells, draws on walls with crayon, sits on his baby sister, gets put into the thinking chair. Yet, he is genuinely happy to meet any person at all. He will blow kisses to the scruffiest, meanest old man. But, an angel he is not.

This is OK. Just like I don't want him excluded for what he is, I don't want him excluded for what he isn't. I wasn't blessed with an angel. He's just a child. I'm not special. You could do what I do, probably much better. Accept it. Acceptance. That's all I want.

Oh, and the playgroup? Not my cup of tea. I think we should savor our mornings together at home right now instead of running from group to group. He's growing up fast and I'll miss these days when they are gone.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. *smiling*