Thursday, October 6, 2011

The unexpected.

Parents of babies and children, and adults too, I suppose, with Down Syndrome are typically very deeply in love with their children. It is not more, certainly not less, but different somehow than the love I feel for my other children. It's a kind of "us against the world" type of love that knits two hearts tightly together.

I'll admit, I often carry a chip on my shoulder when it comes to my boys with DS. Because as much and as deeply as I love them, I'm acutely aware that the world typically sees them differently. As less. As less important. As more work. As more trouble. I've come to expect it. And I'm ready for it. I have built a little wall around my heart. And some tougher skin.

And then...

the unexpected happens.

This boy in the stroller, my precious Theo, started Kindergarten last Tuesday. He is in a life skills program at a small school in a neighboring town, but joins a regular ed Kindergarten class for classes like phys ed, music and library.

The school change was rather sudden for my taste and I was fearful and emotional. So, I dropped in unannounced this week and took a tour of the school with him. I arrived with my old friend, "Chip Ontheshoulder," not knowing what to expect.

Theo walked down the hall between his teacher and I for a good long stretch. I decided to carry him when he stalled out near the library. As we prepared to take a look inside the library a class of children was lining up to return to their classroom.

It was Theo's Kindergarten class.

These precious little children walked out of the library and spontaneously lit up when they saw Theo in my arms. Without exception, and unprompted, each child said "Hi Theo!" and cooed over him as they passed.

I could not help myself, I cried. The walls came down. My heart was softened.

I spent some more time looking around the school after that, but I don't remember much else. I had already seen what I needed to see.

Once again I'm blown away. The little boy who laid starving and alone in a crib for four years has people all over the country rooting for him. Now he has a fan club at his new school, too. I wonder if it will ever cease to amaze me?


Anna said...

its all grace isnt it. This is a beautiful post.

Leslie said...

Love it!!! (((Stephanie)))

Stephanie @ Ralphcrew said...

Yes, Anna. Thanks Leslie, small world, eh?

Melissa said...

This is beautiful. Go Theo!!
I've had a few little moments like that too. When I'm pleasantly surprised by how others treat my Sweet Girl. I picked her up from preschool the other day, where she's had some days where she couldn't keep her hands to herself. As we were walking to the car a couple moms were passing us and I thought I'd just keep watching and not have to see the looks on their faces. Then Liza turned towards them and one of the moms says, "Hi Liza!" How are you sweetie?" Yep, crying again just remembering....

Elisabeth said...

Oh my heart. I have tears in my eyes right now. I pray that Theo's kindergarten experience will continue to be this wonderful.