Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gentle Approach

Well, it looks like I'm getting what I hoped for. More and more people are approaching me and being clear that they know Nate has DS. Today at church, I had 2 people approach me. The first told me she is a cytogeneticist. She wanted to make sure I knew she'd be happy to talk with me if I had any questions. The second was a woman who has a 20 year old brother with DS. She approached very gently (it's clear she understands the mixed emotions I have). She introduced herself and her husband and asked my name. She then commented on how she had been watching me with Nate during the service and thought he was so cute. This is the point when I usually get a little uncomfortable since I know he is not the conventional "cute" and that it is sometimes the word people use because they don't know what else to use. But this time was different. Since she had approached me so intentionally, I knew there must be something more. I paused for a moment and she jumped in to share about her brother. I could see in her eyes that she adores him and really wanted me to know how much he means to her. She had seen us in church a couple of weeks ago and told her mom about us, so her mom has also extended an invitation to talk.

I so appreciate these exchanges. But, I've found, I'm still not all that ready to talk with those who have experience with older children or adult with DS. I can handle infants and toddlers - I don't have set expectations for those little ones under 3 or 4. But once they get into school and beyond, that is where I feel challenged. There is just such a wide range of ability.

So, for right now, I'm just going to continue enjoying my sweet little 5 month old. He is honestly the sweetest little guy (well, except for those few hours in the afternoon when he just won't sleep). I'm working hard to not have specific expectations for him, but to allow him to develop in his time with our help.

And when I'm ready, I will be thankful for all of the people who have stepped forward to share their thoughts, advice and experiences.



  1. Danielle,
    I've really been enjoying reading your blog...thanks for sharing such a huge part of your life.
    Side note, I wanted to let you know, for what its worth, that the few times I've seen Nate and have commented on how cute he is...its not for lack of a "better" word...he truly is a very cute baby. I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way either.

  2. I have to agree...Nate is nothing short of CUTE! In fact, I think babies and children with Down syndrome seriously are some of the cutest most beautiful babies around. I think their eyes hold something magical in them. And those cute buttun noses?! Scrumptious!

  3. Hi Danielle. Jennifer V-S is a local friend and shared your blog w/ me. Your little Nate is a doll! I completely understand your feelings about just wanting to be comfortable w/ the babies to under 3 or 4. I was there right with you. It wasn't until John Michael was 9 or 10 months old that I was ready to "go public" and meet other families. Jennifer was one of those people I met and I'm glad I did! As I read more and more blogs about older children w/ Ds, I get more and more comfortable with what the future holds. We can't yet know what our children's abilities will be, but I think there's never been a better time in history. The Ds community is huge and very supportive on blogs and facebook. I'm glad you're coming to the Convention this summer. I'll be happy to make a blog ID badge for you :-)

  4. Danielle - I totally understand where you are coming from. I'm almost two years into this and I still tend to feel more comfortable meeting other babies and toddlers with Down syndrome. It's almost too overwhelming to think beyond those stages. But then I remind myself, I don't have to worry about those years yet - just today, maybe a bit of tomorrow. And somehow the rest just falls into place.

    And as for Nate - he is just plain ol' cute as can be.

    Sending hugs to you,