On my way up to Ariana’s doctor appointment I shared an elevator with a mom, and two little girls. The youngest was an 8 year old, her name was Amaya Sophia and she had Down syndrome. Amaya’s mother saw Ariana in her car seat and asked me “she has Down syndrome?” I answered “yes” and smiled. We interacted with some small talk, from the first floor to the sixth. She was a very nice woman, and was very open, and happy with Amaya Sophia. It comfort me, seeing another mom like me. That was my first experience with a mom with a child that has downs.
Amaya Sophia also had an appointment with the same doctor Ariana was going to see. We were in the same office, we parted ways and the conversation ended. We sat at opposite sides, I had my nose in paperwork I needed to fill out, and she was on her feet chasing after Amaya Sophia. She was friendly, and very lovable. All the ADULTS in the office found her to be very funny, and friendly.
When Amaya Sophia walked into the office, the room lit up. She waved hello to everyone, but for some reason the kids in the office did not wave back. After Amaya Sophia arrived, the kids in the office became very quite, and still. They began to wisper amongst themselves, it made me feel sad, and extremely uncomfortable. Amaya Sophia was just trying to be friendly, she wasn’t loud, or acted out of the ordinary. She did nothing to get extra attention. Yet all the kids sat and watched her, judged her, and ignored her. It saddened me, that young children are our worst judges.
My biggest fear was Ariana growing up and having to face mean, rude comments from adults that would hurt my baby’s feelings. I had a serious awakening in that office. The kids in the office didn’t say anything to Amaya Sophia, but their looks, whispers, and distance was obvious, and disgusting.
I know rude comments, and mean looks are inevitable, but all I can hope for is that Ariana doesn’t ever have to see, or experience what happened in that office.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” has to be the biggest lie. Words can hurt, looks can hurt, but I do believe it’s that persons choice what can hurt them. All I can do now is try and raise Ariana with a strong soul, and thick skin.