Friday, August 8, 2008

She is Mine

I had the weirdest experience yesterday. I was sitting at the pool watching Rachel swim. Well, actually, by this time she was just hanging out around the pool. The sun was starting to set, and she was watching her shadow as she moved her hands around. As I sat there looking at her, all of a sudden I couldn't see Rachel. I saw a little girl with Down Syndrome. When I look at her I usually think, "Wow, you really don't see the Down Syndrome characteristics." I am actually surprised when people seem to figure it out on their own. But suddenly, I saw this little face that looked every bit "Downs" as all the other little ones I see. I suddenly felt like the wind had been knocked out of me as I thought, "that little girl with Down Syndrome is mine." Just as soon as this surreal feeling appeared, it was gone, and my beautiful little Rachel was standing there again, playing in the sun.

I guess I see the Down Syndrome everyday, but more importantly I see "Rachel." My goofy, little Rachel that is now saying, "Mommy......are you?" A few years ago, I met a mom with a child with Down Syndrome. I went up to her because I saw her child and wanted to say hello. She introduces her child and tells me the child has Down Syndrome. I was thinking that I could not believe she thought she had to tell was so obvious! I guess Rachel is obvious too, but the funny thing is that I REALLY don't see it. I see how much she looks like Leah sometimes and how her hair is the same color as mine. I guess the old saying, "You can't judge a book by its cover" never rang more true. The word syndrome denotes that Rachel is like all the other children with Down Syndrome, and in some ways she is. But more importantly she is her own, unique, little self. And, she is mine!

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