I am running behind: World Down Syndrome Day was yesterday. In our house, though, every day is Down Syndrome day, so I am posting the video made by the Lejeune Foundation this year. We watched it together, the children and I. My daughter Anna, who has Down Syndrome, wasn’t as interested as I expected. My 8-year-old son, however, asked the $64,000 question: “what’s Down Syndrome?”
I’m not sure whether I answered his question perfectly. He doesn’t know anything about genetics, or chromosomes, or anything like that. I tried. But I don’t think it matters. He’ll grow up knowing what trisomy-21 looks like.
We need to learn more deeply about the particular struggles of particular strugglers and join them in their ups and downs. My very brief experiences with those marked by Down Syndrome is that they often seem more eager to bring joy to us than we do to them and, in so doing, are our mentors and guides. Is this the rule? Seems so to me. Thanks for reminders.
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Jean Vanier seems to think so! And, as a parent of a child with Down Syndrome, I realize every day that she teaches me as much as I teach her. Thanks for your comment!