Tonawanda News — I was out somewhere with my older son last weekend, just sitting and hanging out on a rare mother-son snack date, when I saw her watching us.
My guess is that she was probably his age, or just a little bit younger. Now, I’m enough of a doting mom to admit that I think my boys are both pretty darned handsome (and they can be extreme flirts, too), but this wasn’t that kind of look. She was peering at him out of the corner of her eye, like she thought she was doing something she shouldn’t — like she was trying to figure him out.
Now, Jim’s a pretty typical kid. He fights with his brother, he loves school and he can be as stubborn as a mule. He sometimes talks back, and he slams his bedroom door when he’s annoyed with us.
But among his traits is the inescapable fact that, yes, he’s different. He has Down Syndrome. That’s simply a part of who he is.
He looks a little different. And sometimes he acts a little different, and there are things he can’t do — yet — that some other 8-year-olds (or even much younger children) can do with ease. It doesn’t faze him much. He’ll do it when he does it. And he doesn’t much care what people think about it. (I admire that about him, in a way.)
You can say “hi” to him. He might say “hi” back. He might not. He might ignore you, even when encouraged otherwise. You might get a giggle fit. You might get a blank look. It’s not personal. It’s just ... Jim.
She didn’t say hi. She stayed a few tables away, and just looked ... not disgusted, not upset, just curious.