Today we attended our first official event in the world of Down syndrome. We attended our local Buddy Walk.
This morning, I wasn't sure if we would wind up going. Unfortunately, we have a bit of a sickly household at the moment. Cassidy, Dave and now Dylan are all sick. Aw, poor ol' Dylan. He just couldn't quite escape the germs which have been flying rampant around the house.
We decided to give it a shot anyway. So, as we were driving there, I was feeling both excited and nervous. I was genuinely excited to see other children with Down syndrome. I mean...really see them. Before I had Dylan, of course I had seen people with Down syndrome, but I had never really given it much thought. Now, it is my life, our life. And I'm pretty sure that these days I give it more than enough thought!! I was nervous because I guess this was our way of admitting that our son has Down syndrome. Yes, I know we've known this for 3 months, but this was my and Dave's way of....accepting it maybe? Our way of putting ourselves out there, for everyone to see. I was nervous to see other children who may be low functioning. I am a bit ashamed to say that, but unfortunately it's the truth. I was scared of what I may see. Because right now, Dylan is a baby and is just like any other baby. It is not easy for me to picture Dylan, say, as a 10 year old or 20 year old with Down syndrome. Well, we did indeed see children who were low functioning and nope, it wasn't easy. It is not easy to admit that this could be our son. We also saw children with Down syndrome who appeared to be high functioning. Hey, this could also be our child. See, we just don't know. And we won't know for a while. Only time will tell, I suppose. At least that's what I've been told.
While sitting on our couch tonight, I turned to Dave and asked him how he felt about today. He said he felt emotional. Emotional in what way, I asked. He said that he was just blown away by the fact that everyone there was just there...just there loving their kids. Loving their kids no matter what. High funtioning, low functioning. Walking, not walking. Talking, not talking. Their parents love them.
And I know for a fact that is how we will be with Dylan as well.
What I was afraid of, though, is ok, I think. It's ok to be afraid of what you do not know, especially when it involves the future of your child. But the future is always uncertain, isn't it? What I am finding comfort in, is that he is Dylan, and that is all I need to know right now. He is the baby who loves to be held and hugged. He is the baby that smiles and talks and looks you right in the eye as if to say, yes, don't worry, I know. I love you, too.