Friday, August 21, 2009

The look

Yesterday during PT, Finn's therapist was telling me how a friend of hers got her little boy into a Baby Gap ad, and she was saying I should try to get Finn into one. I said, "Yeah, you know . . . wouldn't it be great if places like that had kids with Down syndrome in their ads? I mean, they should! Diversity, and all that." She said, "Well, Finn doesn't look like he has Down syndrome . . . he's just really cute."

I was kind of taken aback at this. I mean, she's a therapist, for goodness' sake, who has made it her career to work with children with disabilities. And I just got this sense that even she places value on how a child looks.

I'm not mad about it, really. Not even offended, exactly. Just . . . surprised. But I guess what has struck me the most about that little exchange is the realization that I don't care anymore how Finn looks. I go back to my early, early posts on this blog, and whether or not Finn looked like he had Ds apparently was a big deal to me at one time. It makes me squirm. I don't care anymore. And yes, I do see the Ds in his face, more and more the older he gets. And he's beautiful to me.

I dunno . . . I guess I just feel like I've experienced some personal growth or something.

And Gap - they totally should have kids with Ds in their ads!

9 comments:

Loren Stow said...

I totally understand. I remember one of my greatest fears when Malakai was born was how much he 'looked' like he had Ds. Since then, I've often heard (from doctors no less!) that he's a 'mild' case because he doesn't have 'the look'. I need to remind them that Ds is Ds - every cell, extra chromosome, remember? But they still seem to feel that because he 'looks mild', he will be 'less affected'. And those are people educated in medicine.
Like you, I'm over the worry of how Malakai looks - to me he's the most gorgeous little guy on the planet!

Monica Crumley said...

I'm totally with you here... I've grown, too. I love my little guy's face, whether he "looks" like has Ds or not. Like you say, as our boys are getting older, it's more apparent, but it really doesn't matter. It's not my eyes that see him as much as my heart is in love with my little guy. And, yes, there's no reason Gap wouldn't think our children aren't ad-worthy.

stephanie said...

During the school year my daughter noticed a photo in her math book of a little girl with DS, she was so excited, I thought it was great.
Big stores should use all children in their adds, I mean all children wear their clothes, right?

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

If you've followed my facebook posts, you might remember that I have a goal to try and get an awareness campaign going with our kids and Gap...or Nike...or any of those big companies. I think it would be AWESOME and so beautiful!

Lisa said...

I was just talking with Jen about this very thing earlier this week! Totally with you on this...

And what's the deal with your physical therapist? She's been in rare form lately... is she always like this? So sorry you had to feel the judgment coming from somebody who works so closely with Finn.

Sharon said...

Finn should totally be a Baby Gap model! And it is amazing the changes that we go through over time....what once seemed important is no longer and what once caused worried not longer does. Some of the thoughts I had early on make my heart sink. Thank goodness for the healing power of time!

Jennifer Zener said...

He is a beautiful boy and he has a wonderful little personality to go along with his good looks:-)

Ria said...

Guess what, my mom recently told me that she agreed with her friend who said that Matthew doesn't look like he has DS. I didn't make a big deal of it, and was unsure what to tell her. I just let it go. I know I've grown too since Matthew's birth...besides there's bigger fish to fry. :-)

Also, big companies should really consider including kids with Down syndrome in their ads. Should we start a movement for ad inclusion?

mauimom said...

When I was prenatally diagnosed, my mother-in-law (who was obviously still trying to come to grips with it) told me that her friend had a boy with DS in her classroom, and guess what, he "looked normal" and no one could "tell" he had DS. I was horrified that my family member was telling me to keep my chin up, maybe my baby won't "look" a certain way. Of course, I cried. Now I'm over it, I don't let that stuff bother me anymore. I think all babies are adorable... especially babies with DS!!