My youngest son, not so young anymore at 12 going on 25, has Down syndrome. How do you tell your kid he has Down syndrome? I mean really? The mere fact that he has it makes understanding that he has it difficult. I guess it’s not something I ever thought about until now. He has it, we do certain things because he has it, we do things with others who have it, we don’t do some other things because he has it, so by 12 we’re pretty OK with the fact that it’s just part of who he is. I know one day he’ll ask me why and I’ll babble off some nonsense that boils down to I Don’t Know but God does and He loves you and I love you and you’re Awesome so it’s all good.
I dwell on this now because he just recently surprised me by signing, as in American Sign Language, the fact that he has Down syndrome. His dad and I were discussing something…who knows what, but something to do with with ‘having’ something. Arthritis, high blood pressure, a mortgage, who knows. Just one of those odd, random, forgotten half-way through saying it conversations that couples have and up pops my kiddo with, “This is what I have.” and does the sign for Down syndrome.
Floored me. I don’t know why. I hadn’t had that conscious realization that he ‘knew’ he had Down’s or that he was ‘old enough’ to comprehend it. (Well, comprehend may be a bit strong.)
Little stinker keeps growing up on me. Gonna have to have another talk with him about that. ;/
Kids always grow up faster than a mom realizes. I think it must be more pronounced for those of us with Special Needs kids. Twelve for my son sometimes looks like 4 or 6 or 9. Rarely does it actually resemble 12.
So…oop. Mom got taken by surprise. Aren’t we supposed to know everything?? I guess I need to work on that.
Oh, and “oop”? Yeah, kiddo says that instead of oops. It’s just so sweet I haven’t had the heart to really correct him. Speech correction is a pretty major thing around here but ya know… no one is perfect and somethings are better left alone. Even when the ‘oops’ he had is beyond frustrating, having him say oop with a sheepish or uh oh look on his face… makes it easier to not overreact. Oop has a direct line to my ‘extra grace’ button. 🙂
Because really, we all oop now and then.