. . . what my impressions of Down syndrome were before I had Finn. Whatever I thought or knew about it seems very vague now. I knew that certain health problems, especially heart problems, were common with Ds. I guess I knew on some vague level that people with Ds are intellectually impaired, but honestly, "Down syndrome" and "retarded" were never synonymous in my mind - I just never made that connection. I don't think I even had any stereotypes in my mind. I wasn't introduced to stereotypes about Ds until Finn was born. I have a vague memory of the first time I noticed seeing someone with Ds when I was a kid and my mother using the term "mongoloid." I don't think she meant anything nasty by it, I think that was just the accepted term in her generation. I never, ever had any direct interactions with anybody with Ds before Finn was born - and truth be told, he's still the only person with Ds I've had any direct interactions with to this day . . . which, in a way, makes me a little sad. I mean, really, if my own baby is the only experience with Ds I've ever had, how true a picture do I really have of Ds? (I feel like I'm missing something, I guess.) Only a couple years ago, a mom I knew would come and watch my little ones two mornings a week while I ran errands and stuff, and she had a daughter with Ds. But I never had any interactions with her. I was around her a couple of times, but in all honesty, I felt uncomfortable around her and kept my distance. I didn't know how to communicate with her. And until I knew that mom (we have since lost touch), I didn't even know that it is common for kids with Ds to have developmental delays. I remember her telling me that her daughter (who was 8 at the time) didn't walk until she was 2 or 3, and just being very surprised about that because it wasn't something I knew.
Do you know that I never knew that people make jokes about the "short bus" until just recently? I mean, like in the last couple of months. I never knew that the "short bus" was the bus for disabled children. Of course I've seen those smaller school buses my whole life, but I never gave them a second thought and never knew they were special buses for "special" kids.
It feels like I've been living in the dark. And in a lot of ways I feel like I'm still in the dark.
Adieu - After more than two years and 555 posts (556 counting this one!), I'm saying goodbye to Adventures in Motherhood. I'm ready for a change, and I've started ...
6 years ago