When a child with Down syndrome is born, a bittersweet cloud hangs in the air. Family members and friends try their best not to appear sad or upset, but the feeling of loss still attacks every time you think about all the things your baby will never be, and all the opportunities he’s already lost for having been born with an extra chromosome.
People around you pretend that everything is fine. As a parent, you may appreciate the strength that people are trying to give you, but at the same time, you get mad for receiving condolences instead of congratulations. It’s a mixture of emotions, incredibly difficult to put into words. Gosh! This day is meant to be the happiest day of your life, but it is so sad that breaks your heart.
Some people are not strong enough to pretend, so they start crying while telling you a cute story about a neighbor’s child with Down syndrome, or a special about Down syndrome kids that they saw on T.V.
But no matter how happy or tearful their encouragement, all of them agree on something: you’ve just given birth to an angel, and only special parents are blessed with special kids.
So, are they right?
After all , you either gave birth to an angel, or you gave birth to a disabled or Down child. Since the latter is too depressing to focus on, and not fair to the child, it must be that I gave birth to not one, but two angels, right?
Except, there’s one problem. My kids remind me, nearly every day, that they are NOT angels. Here are 10 reasons that convinced me:
1. Angels don´t poop more than 20 times a day
The first time I faced the suspicion that my kids were not angels was when I realized how much money I have spent on diapers and pull ups. But that´s ok, all creatures of the world poop, right?
2. Angels don´t take mom´s lipstick to transform themselves in monsters
Ayelén have done this so many times that sometimes I think she has super powers to find my makeup, no matter where I hide it.
3. Angels don´t paint themselves with markers just because they want to look colorful
I think angels have more important things to do.
4. Angels don´t wake up their parents on a Sunday morning, meowing in the bed and pretending they are kittens
No, angels are resting with God on Sunday morning.
5. Angels don´t complain about dinner or throw their meat to the dog so they can be done sooner
Then again, maybe the angel thought the dog looked hungry…
6. Angels don´t force their pets to wear their dolls´ outfit
Angels wouldn’t humiliate an innocent creature that way, would they?
7. Angels don´t hide themselves under the sheets to skip school
A real angel could just make himself invisible.
8. Angels don´t fight with their classmates or siblings
Angels are meant to bring peace between others. If that´s true, then I should consider myself the angel of my home.
9. Angels don´t lie or accuse others when mom asks who threw the naked doll into the toilet
I do not believe that any angel ever, ever pointed his finger and said, “She did it!”
10. Angels don´t throw their Spiderman sandals to the roof because they don´t like them anymore
An angel would never cast away usable items like that, when there are people in the world with no shoes.
So I still see some similarities between my children and angels. After all, my kids are beautiful, loving and have to ability to create magic with every simple step. But believe me, they are not angels! They’re not demons either; they are simply kids!
Organizations led by parents, like the National Down Syndrome Congress and the National Down Syndrome Society run great campaigns for beating the myths and promoting the appropriate terminology when it comes to Down syndrome:
“You gave birth to a child who’s more alike than different; this is a child WITH Down syndrome. A child first!”
I like that! Even if I did believe for a while that my kids were angels, it didn´t last long. They teach me every day that they are just kids with different abilities and ways to live and love.
P.S. The only other explanation for my kids’ behavior is that angels are not as good as we’ve been led to believe. In that case, maybe I am raising angels.
What do you think about it, doll?
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