Raising Awareness One Person At A Time

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month. I don't say much about this here. Or anywhere. I live with Micah. That not-so-small son of mine is a one-boy awareness raising campaign, and he does far, FAR more raising of awareness than I ever could. I tend to just stand a few steps behind him and watch the magic happen. And smile. And sometimes I cry, because the magic is real.

So tonight when I was at church, I retrieved Micah from the Olympian Club that the kids have on Wednesday nights. (That boy lives for Olympian club, asking every day if its church day or not.) After getting him from class, we walked down the hall together, and then he ran off to find his brothers. As I was waiting to go, a little girl who I'd guess to be about 6 or 7 years old, came up to me with a smile on her face. I'd never see her before. I think she was a visitor.

"Hi!," she said.

"Hi," I replied back.

"Are you Micah's mom?," she asked.

I was a bit taken aback. If I didn't know her, she definitely didn't know me. And she didn't see me getting Micah out of class either. But I answered with a smile, "Yes, I am."

"I thought so!"

"How did you know that?" I asked.

"Your face."

"Do I look like him?" I asked.

"Yes." And she smiled broadly as she skipped off.

That is one of the best compliments anyone has ever given me. She may or may not know that Micah has Downs. But I love that she looked past his telling facial features and saw him as my son and not as the kid with the disability. I love that she saw me in him. I love that she was happy to make both our acquaintances, and wasn't afraid of the boy that can't talk but yells loudly instead.

That boy scored one more tonight in the awareness raising campaign. Those who are different, for whatever reason, are simply different. They're not strange or scary or weird. They're just different. And they have mamas that love them, just like everyone else does. I'm a step behind my son, again, tonight. And I'm beaming with pride. And crying just a wee bit.

1 comment:

wendy said...

Beautiful post.