Dear Playground Mommy,
Remember last Sunday while your child and Noah were both playing in the sandbox at Saltlick? You watched Noah out of the corner of your eye, smiling that sweet smile I know so well, “Downs kids are so cute – I’m so glad he belongs to her and not me.”
Your little one inched closer and closer, wanting so badly to help Noah fill his sand bucket. But you called him back. “No, that’s his bucket. You come play over here.”
“He’d love some help,” I quietly murmured.
“Oh, that’s okay,” you awkwardly replied, as you admonished your son to stay on his side of the sandbox.
I’m sure you were probably conjuring up images of an out-of-control full blown temper tantrum, maybe some foaming at the mouth and possibly even some biting if your child dared entered Noah’s territory.
Noah knows better.
Noah was oblivious to your slight, thank goodness. But I wasn’t.
Playground Mommy, everybody needs a friend, even kids with Down syndrome. I promise, Noah won’t bite or scream or throw sand. If Noah is unhappy about sharing, I’ll step in and help out – just like any child’s mother would. My child has Down syndrome – it’s not contagious, and he actually makes a really good friend. He loves people, and he especially loves toddlers, toddlers like your child.
Playground Mommy – Think about how special your little guy is to you. Think about how much you love him and how you want other children to treat him. Think about how you’d give him the moon if he asked you for it. Well, that’s exactly how I feel about Noah.
Next time you see us, if you’re still not sure if Noah would make a safe playmate or not, would you ask me? I promise, I’ll answer all your questions. No, he doesn’t bite; yes, he likes to play with other children; no, he doesn’t talk much but boy can he communicate; yes, he understands everything we say. And someday soon he will even understand some of what we do. Like when you lure your child away from him at the sandbox.
Thanks for listening, Playground Mommy.