"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Makes me just cringe.

It happens all too often. Each time it makes me just cringe. Wondering what I'm yappin' about?? Let me tell you. I just cringe each time someone says to me, "oh isn't she the most loving little girl" or "those kids are such loving kids aren't they" I hear these comments often and each time, they make me just cringe. My response is usually the same. I respond with, "oh sure, when she wants to be loving. Pretty much like every other kid". What else would I, or could I say to those remarks?

Yes, my daughter is a loving little girl, when she wants to be. She is also one stubborn, strong willed and determined little girl. More loving than others, because of Down syndrome? I'd have to say that is a misconception. Although, many people do believe that is in fact true. I can't say for sure that kids with Down syndrome are more loving than the next kid. What I can say, about Carly is, she is not anymore loving than any other kid. However, Carly is very forgiving. Very caring. Shows compassion toward others. I like to refer to those as her qualities. Qualities that so many other kids are lacking.

Here is a story that is sure to knock your socks off. Paul and I had Carly out and about one day. We were shopping. I was in the check out line and Paul had Carly in a cart at the end of my isle. I saw an older lady stop and chat a few minutes with them. I also saw Paul's facial expression change. It went from a smile to a blank look. Paul's a proud dad. He's proud to be Carly's daddy. This really knocked the wind out of him. I just knew something awful was said. The lady headed on her way. Paul and Carly headed for the car. When I got to the car I knew the older lady said something that just didn't set well with Paul. I asked him what was going on and so he told me. The older lady had made a comment about Carly. This lady said, "oh we have one of those in our family too". She was talking about Carly having Down syndrome. Yes. This makes me just cringe. She also said, "aren't they the most loving creatures". That comment really makes me just cringe. Not to mention that it's a great big slap in the face! Seriously, do people actually refer to others as "creatures"? Apparently.


Stephanie said...

OMG!!!!!! Thing and creature! This is why we are here ! It is our responsibility to change people. Their thoughts and their language. This woman obviously meant no harm but the language she used was ridiculous! It's a whole new world a better world for our kids, but it's going to take time and effort on our part as parents and their biggest advocates, to make even more changes.
I'm so sorry Paul had to deal with that. He must have felt like he was sucker punched. But thanks for sharing this story. We can make a difference and make changes and make people see the beauty of our kids.
OK... I'm preaching to the choir, I'm stepping off the soap box.
Thanks for sharing this story it has obviously got me riled up. Which is a good thing!

Shan said...

It's not just Down's, every child that is different must get it. With Marie I would often hear the same things, or how she was so babylike physically as though that made me lucky. People automatically assumed she was not naughty, never threw tantrums, only wanted to snuggle and love... I wish that were the case. She too was a normal kid...
Hopefully we can continue to change perceptions and redefine diagnosis...

Heidi said...

That is awful what that lady said! I can't believe that she actually said "creatures" - that's just disgusting.

Before I had Joel in my life I would have believed that stereotype as well. I'm not sure why - I just always thought people with Ds were loving and nice. Joel has his moments of being loving for sure but he also has his moments where he is mad and can really fight - just like any other kid!

No Greater Gift Mom said...

Amazing. We haven't faced any of the comments from strangers yet, but I hate to say I'm sure we'll hear them. But, we have heard the "they're just so loving/nice" already from some at church.
Stay strong- you are an inspiration for those of us who are following behind you.
In Him,

The VW's said...

I personally am happy when an older person says something somewhat positive about Gavin. I bet that lady didn't mean any harm in what she said. You have to remember that not too many years ago, those born with Down syndrome would have been put in a home and forgotten about. This is what older people are used to. It's not their fault, it was what doctors told families to do back then, plus I bet a lot of those with Down syndrome didn't even live very long, secondary to the many medical problems that they are prone to have. This is just my two sense about this.

I totally understand that some people look at our children with Down syndrome, as being so different and it hurts as a parent, but some people really do mean well when they say things to you.

Plus, I personally believe that those with Down syndrome usually are more loving and good natured. Again, this is just my opinion, but I see so many that have a much bigger heart than the "average" person.

Sometimes it's easy to take things too personally and become too sensitive. I feel that most people that say things to me are really just trying to reach out to me and Gavin and show us some love and support. It doesn't always come off sounding so nice to me, but I know that they are just trying to be kind most of the time.

Of course, there are those that are just being nosy and rude, but I have learned to try not to let it bother me. I wasn't always able to do this, but I feel happier in the end, when I don't let it get to me.

Hang in there and keep sticking up for your precious girl! Just try not to let it get you mad.....if people are trying to be mean by what they say, then they would love to see you get upset by their actions. They just aren't worth it in my opinion.

Beth said...

Ooh. I think that is the worst I've heard in a long time! That is completely different from someone saying "THEY are so happy/sweet/loving blessings." CREATURES????

I think I'd have to take a big breath after that. I wish I could always be ready for these kinds of things, and have a come-back prepared, but they always take my breath away (along with that kick in the stomach).