I've been thinking about the couple at the picnic. It wasn't the couple, really, as the man didn't say anything. So I guess I've been thinking about the lady that made the comment about Lila. I've also been reading the comments that people left on my post- thanks for the feedback-and trying to figure out what I think about it all. Beth- I also try to cut older people a little slack. (Even when I'm driving which is pretty tough for me. I look at them say "Okay, you're older, you get a pass".)

Now I wish that I would have said something. Hindsight, ya know? But if I could have found the grace to turn the stroller around, maybe it would have gone something like this:

"Excuse me- I heard what you said back there. About my daughter. That she's cute and that they don't all look like that. I don't know what you meant by that but I wanted you to know that what you said was upsetting to me. I'm sure you didn't mean anything negative by what you said but it still hurt."

Then again, wouldn't that just cause her to be defensive? Would that really accomplish anything? Just so I could get that off my chest? It just seems so negative. I would say it in a nice way, I would be respectful, but still..... the words themselves, no matter how they were said, might not have the desired effect.

I just don't know. How do we educate people without making it a tense situation. Is it worth it? Obviously it is, for the sake of my daughter, and all of the people in the world that are different. I want to do the right thing next time I am put in that situation, I'm just not sure what the right thing is. Of course, I could have gone on and on about how a person with Down Syndrome, just like any other person, shouldn't be defined by their looks. And I could have said that Lila is an amazing little girl. And she's the light of our lives. And she's changed our family for the better. And she's a miracle- she wasn't even supposed to live! And she surprises us every day by how well she's doing. And on and on and on. But how much time do you take? And how much will you get to say before the other person stops listening?

I don't have the answers. I wish I did. I'd love to have a quick comeback that is non-confrontational, effective and respectful. I think the delivery is as important as the message itself. Obviously if you are trying to think of a reply, something has been said that got under your skin a little. So what's most important- to let the person know that they upset you or to educate them? Is there a way to do both?

Still pondering~



  1. In my perfect little world (haha), I like to say that we need to educate in the nicest way possible. I am the first one, however, to get defensive when it comes to my girls, BUT if I am defensive to people like this, what does that tell them about me? That I'm angry and I hate my life? I dunno ... I hate for people to make the wrong assumptions about my girls based on how I act. But sometimes I can't help myself. LOL. I like what you wish you would have said, but at the same time are they gonna "get" that it would hurt someone's feelings? I'm not sure exactly what would be the right thing to say, but yeah ... I wish you would have said something too. But, at the end of the day, it is impossible for us to educate the entire world and if we ponder it, we won't get anywhere. Am I completely rambling and making no sense? I am pretty sure I am. LOL.

    I think in this situation I would have wanted to ask them what prompted her to say that and what prompted their appearance at our picnic. I would have wanted to sort of praise them for coming and *trying* to see past whatever their stereotype is and perhaps show them Lila more and tell them more about her and what she can do. Because you and I both know that what the elderly knows about DS is sooo different than what we know now.


  2. Ma,
    next time tell the person how boringly normal they are.

    Or ask them if they remember choosing NOT to check the box that would give them a bonus Chromosome 21. Or if they chose ANYTHING about how they look (except for maybe some fake A hair extensions.)

    Bah...no don't...but really, I love how we label people by what we believe is their "worst" quality or the most blatant difference. That person is "black" or that person has "Down Syndrome." What the crap ever, we're all people, all created without G-d asking for our personal opinions on how we're made.

    Nobody chose the amount of chromosomes that they have, nobody chose how they look, nobody chose a damn thing...

    People are scared of and attack what they aren't familiar with (like homeless people for instance, or for people of another ethnicity which they haven't encountered) and that is ignorance down to it's definition: lack of knowledge or information.

    Sorry i don't have any realistic solutions...other than discussing with them firmly which is hard to do when it's easy to get pissed off at ignorance...

  3. Gotta love passionate opinions. That, ladies and gentlemen is my son. Very passionate and extremely protective of his little sister. It's a good thing he left the picnic early to drive down south and visit a friend. If not he probably would have been walking with Lila and me. It might have added a little twist to my pondering.

  4. Linda, you have some extraordinary children. All three of them. Justin's the perfect big brother!!

  5. Smart kid! I think he said it perfectly.

  6. It's the "ma" that got me, right off the bat.
    I love it.
    What is amazing to me about your recent posts is that people in general who look at kids with Ds actually have pity over their looks (and I know this to be true because I used to be one of them!!!) but the truth is WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN AND THE WAY THEY LOOK! Duh doesn't ever mother? There is an old Chinese proverb that goes like this;
    "There is only one beautiful child in the whole world, and every mother has it."

    Ds notwithstanding.