Dearest Beloved Friends,
I have a confession to make! Many years ago whenever I would see gray haired parents out and about with an adult son or daughter with Down syndrome I admit I felt a little sorry for them. I thought they had no choice but to journey through their life with their child still by their side. I thought that they must not have much of a life with having to care for their child, but that was before our son David turned 31.
Several weeks ago just the three of us, Curt, David and I, went to have dinner at Valle Luna Mexican restaurant. Ironically the owners Jane and her husband, now are the proud grandparents of grandson Brody who has Down syndrome, but long before he was born they have been hosting events to help us further the good work we do through Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona.
|Proud Daddy Rob Bigler & Brody|
It was a busy night and so we sat there quietly waiting our turn to be seated. Curt and I were taking about the great strides forward our son was making since he began seeing Shanna at Baio Speech Therapy. We were then just sitting there quietly when I saw a gorgeous young woman about age 23 walk through the door.
Her outfit caught my eye (as it did everyone in the place) not because it was slightly immodest but it certainly was one that called attention to her beautiful and fit body. She had on a see-through sheer blouse with a camisole beneath. "Foxy" would have been the word of my day to describe this gorgeous woman. I watched David sit up and take notice right away, just as most of the men in the place did, but I was unprepared for what would happen next.
Due to David's hearing loss he has a language delay. He knows what he wants to say but at time it is difficult for him to get the words out. And yet in that moment, and clear as a bell I hear him say loudly, "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! WELL LOOK AT YOU!!!" I was mortified and didn't know what to do! Thankfully the young woman took it as the compliment it was intended to be and just smiled as she walked by.
In that moment I simultaneously wanted to scold David and yet praise him for his perfectly delivered statement that every man in that room was thinking but were too polite to say. I was secretly cheering this milestone, however inappropriate, and when everyone laughed I did too.
I never know what I am going to get with my son. On January 8th my husband took us out to dinner again to celebrate my very young 63rd birthday. It was fun hearing David try to repeat the Japanese phrases his brother Seth had taught him and the server even understood his words. I was so proud. I saw him engage a woman and her husband sitting next to him at Benihana's. It did not surprise me to find out later she is a special educator in Gilbert.
I used to get a little embarrassed not know what would come next from David but not anymore...even when the server wanted to take our picture and this is the best we got. LOL
So if one day you are lucky enough to get a little older and a little grayer, I have good news for you. This wonderful journey that began the day your baby was born gets even better.
"The only journey is the one within."
~Rainer Maria Rilke
Love, David's Mom (aka Gina Campbell Johnson)