She’ll Be a Great Bagger One Day

Is what the cashier at my grocery store said to me this morning as I was paying for my food while Brooke babbled in her seat…

With that one sentence I almost jumped out of my own skin and nearly throttled that woman…

Although Brooke has many people that love her and a huge support system of friends and family I constantly feel like the general public underestimate her.

A bagger.

Why is that the first thing that people think when we I discuss Brooke’s future?

What is it about this child’s face that screams “Paper or plastic?”?

Do people see almond shaped eyes and automatically assume she can’t do anything else?

Because we don’t assume that.

We don’t assume that Brooke will automatically wear the polyester pinny while bagging boxes of mac n cheese carefully so as not to smoosh your bread.

We assume that Brooke will live her life to its fullest potential and be a happy and contributing member of society…

That may mean she goes to college, or to some sort of trade school, or maybe she will live in a group home and bag groceries…

But if she does bag groceries, you can bet your ass Brooke is going to be the best damn bagger you’ve ever seen, and not only that, but she’ll be bagging your apples and strawberries on her terms, because she wants to be there…

Because it’s what makes her happy.

Which is all Eric and I want for her, just like what we want for all of our children…

All of that went through my head in the 3.2 seconds I was seething at the cashier before she said…

Just look at the way she’s paying attention! You can tell she’s so smart and has an amazing attention span.

Okay, so maybe I jumped the gun a little bit on her original statement…

Or maybe she still think Brooke won’t amount to much other than a bagger when she’s grown up…

And with that last sentence typed, I schedule this post with tears streaming down my cheeks, because I don’t know what to think of her words, or how to convince the world at large how much more Brooke actually is…

Brooke is amazing…

Just remember that…

 

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

I sometimes wish I could go back in time to when I was pregnant with Brooke and just show myself…

It’s not scary…

Having a child with Down syndrome…

How can this be scary?

She’s just a little girl…

A little girl who loves kisses and dancing, goldfish crackers and swinging, chocolate donuts and playing with her babies…

Sure, Brooke’s speech is delayed and her beautiful almond eyes show that she obviously  has Down syndrome…

But does that not look like a girl who loves life?

I wish I would have known how genuinely happy Brooke would be…and not happy because she has Down syndrome and all people with Down syndrome are happy…but because she’s loved and she knows it…

Happy because she gets play with her dolls….

Brooke is happy because she has two brothers and a sister that love her…

So really? What was I so worried about?

Brooke will be fine.  No, wait…Brooke is fine….

And all of us that love her will always make sure that stays true….

*Did you know that October is Down syndrome Awareness Month? That’s why I’ve been writing more about Brooke lately…and if you’re curious about what Down syndrome looks like for other families, then please, read some other blogs below….

A Defining Moment

Before Brooke was born, I would spend hours at the computer with Eric analyzing her 3D ultrasound images against those on the screen…we were trying to see exactly how Down syndrome our baby would look.

We were obsessed with it…every night, poring over the pictures…

The doctors pointed out Brooke’s nasal bone in her ultrasound, so she most likely wouldn’t have that marker…the flat nose.  She also didn’t have that thick skin on the back of her neck, another big marker.  In fact, from her pictures, she didn’t really look like she had Ds at all, which is why the doctors and nurses were so surprised when they finally gave us the news.

From the pictures Brooke’s ears didn’t look to be very low, she didn’t seem to have the big gap between her big toe and her second toe…

And yet we still spent months holding her ultrasound pictures up against the screen, comparing them to the pictures of people with Down syndrome that we could see after they were born…

Then it was January 20th, 2010 and Brooke was born…

And after they took her out of my belly and Eric went over to see her the first thing I said to him was, “How is she? Can you tell?”

“Yes, you can tell, it’s her eyes.  She’s so beautiful!”  Those were the words Eric delivered to me, with tears in his eyes and a tremble in his voice…

She’s so beautiful….

Those three words….

She’s so beautiful….

Yes…yes she is…

She’s our beautiful daughter…

Who happens to have Down syndrome…

Since When Is It Okay

To make fun of someone’s child?

I’ll admit, Sarah Palin is most definitely not a favorite person of mine, but that doesn’t mean I would insult one of her kids on national TV…

You know, like how Wayne Brady did during the roast of Roseanne a few days ago on Comedy Central….

He said to Jeff Ross, “Now the thing is Jeff … these are all jokes, and I really like you. I really, really like you. But a lot of people hate you, especially Sarah Palin because you remind her of what Trig is going to look like when he’s 40.”

Okay, obviously the joke is negative towards Down syndrome, but when did it become okay to single out someone’s child?

Where is the line?

When is it ever too much?

How do you convince yourself to it’s okay to publicly ridicule a child?

Any child?

And then let’s throw special needs into the mix…

Wow…what a funny guy…

Making fun of a special needs child that can’t even defend himself-because Trig is only four years old-is one of the most scummy take a cheap shot kind of joke I can think of….and let’s all think of how his mother probably visible recoiled when she heard that statement….tough political persona aside, Sarah is still a mother…

I try really really hard to not be so politically correct all the time, but I just don’t know if I can forgive Wayne Brady for this….

Because it’s never acceptable to make fun of a child…

Down syndrome or not….