The Sympathetic Smile

Last Sunday I went to a Southern Living party. The hostess works with my husband and since she was nice enough to invite me, I thought I'd be nice and go. Most of the people at the party either work with my husband or their husbands work with mine. I'm not close friends with any of them and it was a bit awkward at first. Luckily the hostess is a huge Giants fan so she had the game on. Nice icebreaker. A woman that I know fairly well came over to say hi.

Acquaintance: How's Lila?
Me: Lila's doing really well, she loves school, she has a great teacher, etc.
Acquaintance: How old is she now?
Me: She turned 2 in September.
Acquaintance: Is she walking yet?
Me: Not yet, but she's getting really close!

That's right, nothing. Just a sympathetic smile accompanied by a head nod. Then she does the old oh- I think I know that person across the room- let me go say hi to her, it was good talking to you routine.

A few things come to mind. Do not feel sorry for me or act as if I am in some kind of denial about my child. Lila is doing very well, especially when you consider the fact that it was a very real possibility that she wouldn't even live. And I am not in denial. Some people are shocked that I can be so positive about life when I have a child with Down Syndrome. Try being negative around Lila. She's full of joy and it's contagious. Even when she's ferociously stubborn, which is quite often, it's hard to be upset with her.

I am a person outside of being the mother of a child with DS. This lady and I used to talk about a bunch of different things. Now she acts as if my child with DS has taken over my life somehow. When I was pregnant with Lila- after I found out that she has DS- people started avoiding me. I would see them in the grocery store and they would duck into an aisle to avoid talking to me. I can see that people have limited understanding about DS and it might make them slightly uncomfortable to talk about it, but it's just odd when people that you knew fairly well, and were on friendly terms with, stop talking to you.

Okay, I'm done venting.

1 comment:

  1. Vent away!! It's your blog. But it's just so weird to me. Maybe the problem is they haven't had the honor of knowing Lila. I just can't imagine avoiding talking about her. She's such a blessing and so wonderful who wouldn't want to know her or know more about her. No doubt the people who avoid talking to you just feel stupid cuz they don't know much or maybe anything about DS. You got smarter and they didn't.