For some reason if I see another parent out somewhere with their child who has Down syndrome I have a hard time approaching them. Okay-I don't approach them at all. I have been approached a few times in the 5 years I've had Rylie. I don't know what is wrong with me or what I am so afraid of. Just because Rylie has Down syndrome does not make me an expert. I feel I might say the wrong thing. I remember one time when Rylie was only 1 month old I was in a clothing store when a little girl around 7 years old with Down syndrome came running over to Rylie's stroller just to say Hi and see the baby. Her mother came after her and said, "I'm sorry-she just loves babies". I just smiled- walked away and then pretended to shop, "discreetly" watching her daughters every move. If I would have just introduced myself to this mom, I could have maybe made a friend who probably lived locally and I could have learned so much more about her daughter. I have been thinking about this lately because now It is my daughter who runs over to the babies in the strollers. I know a lot of moms now through the internet, but I don't know anyone in my area who has a child with Down syndrome. Where are all the children with Down syndrome? Hmmm.... The closest Down syndrome support group is in Lansdale PA which is about one hour away. I did try a special needs support group, but my child was the only one with Down syndrome. Anyway- all the sudden after almost five years I have such a strong desire to connect with other parents.
Yesterday Vince, me and the girls were in the car headed for the mall. For some reason, I said a quick prayer in my head-Dear Lord, maybe I'll meet a parent with a child who has Down syndrome today. That's about all I prayed. Then when we got to the mall I prayed the same short and simple prayer. I don't know why -I guess like I said- I now have this desire to meet other parents in my situation.
Our first stop at the mall was the food court, Vince and Karlie went to get pizza while me, Rylie and Cesalie stayed at the table. Rylie and me were counting our fingers when I noticed a man right next to us was smiling at us. He was sitting with his son . They both said hello! The next thing I know his son came over and introduced himself. This boys name was Adam, and he cleary had some type of speech problem. Then the father came over and told me that Adam was fifteen years old and autistic. We made some more small talk. When Vince came back to the table he started talking with Adam. They were talking about sports and all sorts of things. It's funny- I'm the one who is always reading, searching, and looking for anything about Ds or disabilities-But Vince was the one who just freely talked with this boy as he would anybody and I'm the one who still felt alittle bit awkward.