Saturday, October 11, 2008

31 for 21: Heartbreaker

Tonight we went to dinner with some friends. As we were waiting for them to arrive, one of the waitresses passing through the entry area stopped and talked to Braska, going on about how pretty she is (to which Braska signed "pretty" of course, compounding her cuteness). Then a few minutes later, she came back, this time with another waitress, to show her "just how pretty" this little girl was. She kind of patted her and acted like she just wanted to cuddle her, and she said, "She's sure going to be a heartbreaker one day." We agreed with her as we smiled.

Earlier this week, a woman came across the parking lot at Aldi while I was putting things in the trunk and talked to her, saying she'd seen her in the store but hadn't been able to catch up with us. She walked over a full aisle out of the way to her car to come say hello, ask her age, and comment on how well behaved she was in the store line. I thought that was nice.

We have been so fortunate in that people have always been so wonderful when we're in public. There are stories of those who have just plain ridiculous and rude things said to them about their children with DS. I always wonder what I'd say in similar situations, and who knows how it would go. But I am grateful that to this point, we've had only good experiences. People come up to use in every place we go. It's become a game to guess and then count how many people will approach us at Wal-Mart or the grocery store. All ages, men and women, lots of kids. I'm often amazed at how bold they can be. Not inappropriately, in my book, just seemingly enamored by this little girl with pigtails and glasses. She's generally kicking and dancing in the shopping cart, because she just LOVES being in one. I can see how she would garner some attention. I'm just glad that those who would say dumb or unpleasant things have not done so within earshot.

As far as I can remember right now, only one of these encounters has been with someone who had a child or relative with DS. The rest were just people commenting on her glasses or being cute or behaving in various situations. (She is really unbelievably good in public situations. We're blessed!!) I realize it may not always be this way, but for now, we are so grateful to be able to make alot of people smile. And I have found that I enjoy mentioning, when it comes up, that she has Down syndrome. At that point, no one has said, "I'm sorry." No one has put on a sad face. They just smile and say, "Really??" with surprise. I love to see a new bit of perspective come to so many faces. Like their 3 minutes of waving and talking to Braska has somehow imprinted a new realization or possibility in their minds. And THAT is worth everything.

8 comments:

  1. Like you we've never had any bad experience with Peanut. She gets lots of waves and smiles. Some people comment how cute she is. I've had a couple comment they have a relative with Ds. I often wonder if they know she has Ds or if they just think (rightfully so!) tht she's cute. :) I don't often mention she has Ds. I'm NOT ashamed of it and I will if the situation seems right. When I do, I get the same reaction. I don't think many people realize it even though her facial features are obvious to those "in the club." Like you, though, I love to talk to others about it and share how wonderful she truly is.

    Braska is definitly going to be a heartbreaker one day. In fact, really, she already is!

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  2. Very sweet post about a very sweet girl. Braska, Ambassador of Change. Squeeze her for me please. ---Jen

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  3. Little ones with glasses certainly do get attention in public. People love to talk to Dillon as well. Of course he doesn't talk back, but both preschoolers do!

    But of course Braska is a beautiful and happy little girl, so people gravitate to her.

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  4. We have never had any of those horrible experiences either. While the people who approach us are fewer than previous years, I know that that happens with every kid. People approach small children and do it less and less as they get older.

    I think if I seen Braska in the store, I'd have to stop and say how cute she is too! I think I am a sucker for babies in glasses anyhow! :)

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  5. To encourage you, after 15 years of being a mom of a cutie w/DS, we have yet to have had a bad encounter either. I used to dread it but we've been very fortunate.

    We had criticism once for bringing our kids to an out-of-town family funeral. There was no one to babysit since it was 4 hrs. from home...but all of our kids behaved very politely and were very quiet (years and years of training!)...especially Tyler. Well, afterwards, the other aunts and relatives flocked to us and said how proud they were of them, especially Tyler, for being so good. Such a good feeling, especially since there had been concern. (thankfully we didn't know this ahead of time!)

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  6. We too have managed to have mostly positive experiences. I'm so proud of my girl and how she's been able to have such a positive impact at places like her daycare. Yay for you and Braska!! She is a heartbreaker!

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  7. How can you not think she is cute? I am glad you have not had any bad experiences. Maybe society is finally growing up so to speak. You are lucky though, most kids hate being in the shopping cart.

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  8. I guess I would just be shocked, hurt and disappointed with someone who would do ANYTHING like that. Braska was an angel at dinner, cute as a button! I even got a Thank You back at the house! (I don't think anyone saw since I was talking directly to Braska) I felt so special, along with the kiss and fist bumps I was in little girl heaven.

    Though I still got dissed on giving "5's" oh well!

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