I am sitting in my car with Aaron waiting for my husband, who is talking to someone inside a car dealership. A salesman inside looked at us and the first thing that crossed my mind was "I wonder what he is thinking." The thought didn't last long. I really don't care what he is thinking. But that isn't always the case. Far too often I do care what other people think and I don't think I'm alone. It has gotten better as I have gotten older. Other people's opinions matter less to me now than they used to. But how great would it be if they truly didn't matter at all? If other people's judgements and thoughts about us were completely irrelevant and we could live our lives without worrying about how we "look" to others.
Then it hit me. That is exactly the gift that my son - and most people with Down Syndrome - have been given. You know the saying "dance like no one is watching"? That's what he does. He dances, sings, expresses his emotions and LIVES like he wants to. Like no one is watching. Like he doesn't care what anyone thinks. I know he is only 4 but many 4 year olds have already lost the ability to live like that. And since I have had the pleasure of meeting many older children and adults with DS, I know this isn't something that will go away as he gets older. These people have been given a gift that we all strive for. The ability to live life to the fullest. To see joy in the world. To love other people and treat those around them with care and respect. How many people without DS do you know that blow kisses to strangers and hug everyone they meet? Don't you think the world would be a better place if more of us did that? Or at least greeted others with warmth and a smile?
Society may say that people with DS are disabled. That they are different and should be pitied or worse, never brought into this world at all. But I know the truth. They have something that we should all strive for. They get to LIVE.
And today I am thanking God for bringing this child into my life and allowing me to see that.