I think this is a great article for every person to read so that we can better support moms like Tatum. Please SHARE!
As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome, I can tell you that anytime I have my son out in public, I will get approached at least once. Mostly everyone is nice. A few people can be nasty sometimes, and then some people are just genuinely curious. I never mind answering questions because I want people to be educated rather than have false assumptions as to what life is like with a child with Down Syndrome. I am a mild-mannered person in general, but sometimes I hear remarks that make me want to smash every jar on aisle 6 in the grocery store.
1. “I’m sorry.” I HATE this.
Why are YOU sorry? I know I’m not. I brought a beautiful child into this world that has so much to offer. He has made me a better person, and I feel so honored and blessed that God chose me to be his mother.
2. “Did you not have the testing done?”
As a matter of fact, I did. Are you implying that I should have terminated with a definite diagnosis? That was never an option for me. Yes, we did have the testing done, but to find out what kind of Down Syndrome he had, so that we could properly educate ourselves, not to terminate the precious miracle growing inside of me. Why on Earth am I having to defend my right to bring my son into this world?
3. “He doesn’t look downsy.”
First of all, shame on you for thinking ‘downsy’ is an appropriate term. Second of all, what is he supposed to look like? When you look at my son don’t look for a diagnosis, just see him as the beautiful child of God that he is.
4. “They are always happy.”
Oh really? Then I would love to call you at 3 in the morning when he is screaming his head off and nothing I do is working. Down Syndrome doesn’t come with a set emotion. He experiences an array of emotions just like any other child.
5. “Just treat him like he’s normal and you’ll be fine.”
I’m sorry, he’s not normal? Of course he will be treated like normal because HE IS. He is more normal than not. And yes, he will be ‘fine’ because he has two parents that love him no matter what and will shower him with love and affection every day of his precious life.