Monday, August 28, 2006

The Irony of It

Well, just after I mentioned how I thought people were staring at Sheena, I went and stared at a little girl with DS today. We were at the Childrens Hospital, and when we were leaving, we passed a family - their youngest had DS. I unintentionally stared. I am sure that the mum noticed, as she gave me a long-look back along with a gentle smile. Sheena was getting a cuddle from her Dad, so she would not have noticed her condition. I hope she didn't think I was out of line.

When I am out and I see other parents who are with their kids that have DS, I have not been bold enough (so far) to go up for a chat. I feel compelled to approach them, but at the same time, I don't want to catch them off-guard. I would not usually approach total strangers, so I am not sure if it is really appropriate. What are other people's view on that? I also don't really know what I'd talk about! The conversion might go,

Me: "Oh, I noticed your child has DS."
Stranger: "Yep, that is right."
Me: "He/She is really cute, my girl has DS too"
Stranger: "Really, there you go..."
Me: "Yeah, just happened to notice... ah..., so..., ah... is s/he in EI around here?"

OK, I might be paranoid, and I am sure we could elaborate more than that, but I think that it is fair to say, that just because your kid has DS, it doesn't mean that you are automatically going to have a great rapport with other parents. I think that you share a situation as far as diagnosis is concerned, but you don't necessarily share the same response to the situation.


Kim Ayres said...

I know exactly what you mean. It's the difference between recognising similarities of experiences or characteristics, yet not necessarily wanting to be defined by them.

Last year I wrote a blog entry - Lada Owner's Club" - which looked at this issue (stick with it, it does get to DS eventually). You might find it relevant.



Michelle said...

I still feel that way most times! I just don't know how to approach people, because I know they only reason I'm approaching them is because I see they have a child with Ds too. But on the other hand, I do like it when someone comes up to me and tells me they have someone in their life who has Ds. It's like some scret club or something :)

Miranda said...

I am always hesitant to approach people too, but when i have talked to people it has always been great, Sometimes i even learn about a new therapy or activites they do with their child. But most of the time I don't approach people they approach me....which is nice.

jotcr2 said...

It is reassuring see that I am not alone in being a bit hesitant to approach people that have a child with DS. I think I would also like people to approach me on the topic, so maybe I shouldn't be reluctant.

Jessica said...

I still have problems approaching other DS parents in person too. I did a couple weeks ago at the mall. I noticed a little boy approx 2 years old and went up and talked to the mother. Personally for me, it's really helped having all my online blog parents just to talk to online too.

LeslieAnn said...

I still am stumped...I've had a lady grab me and start crying when she saw Jack in the grocery cart. I've had TONS (too many to count) just come up and tell me about their children. I think it's very nice to have them share their thoughts/experiences. But I am not so bold! I have approached 2 at a water park and it wasn't easy for me...but it went well. I just began by asking how old they were and went from there. It isn't for everyone. I'm still not sure if it's "my" thing! But personally, I love hearing everyone's stories. (For the MOST part!)