Thursday, February 5, 2009


For some reason yesterday I started feeling this strong desire to see someone else, besides my sweet little guy, with Down syndrome out in the world. Out in the world doing basic every day things...just like everyone else. I went to the grocery store in hopes of seeing the young man with Down syndrome who works there. I had seen him there many times prior to having Dylan and had always enjoyed talking with him. However since having Dylan, I haven't seen him. I don't even know if I would have actually spoken with him or not. I just wanted to see him.

Turns out, he wasn't there.

So, I found myself standing in the middle of the grocery store looking around and around. I started thinking, 'Wow. No one has Down syndrome. I never ever see anyone with Down syndrome. Why aren't there more people in this world with Down syndrome? I want to see more people! I want to feel connected. For my son to feel connected. I don't want Dylan to feel...different or alone in this world.'

I left the store without finding what I was looking for.

That brings us to today. Now, what do you suppose would cause a grown up woman (ahem, that would be me) to cry while at the gym on her elliptical machine? This story playing on the television screen.

This is exactly the kind of stuff that gives me hope. This is what I was looking for yesterday. Here is a young man with Down syndrome out in the world doing an everyday kind of thing. He is playing a sport and interacting with his peers. He is making his parents proud. He is happy.

For me, this is hope. Hope for Dylan.


Kimberly said...

That was great!
I can't wait to watch Dylan grow up an play sports or play in a band or whatever he chooses to do! You are right if only more people knew more about Ds and realized how much of a blessing it is to get to know someone with Ds, this world would be a better place!

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

I saw the story this morning on the Today Show also... it is a great story and I was surprised by how much "air time" they gave the story, but very happy they did!!! I am impressed you were at the gym doing the elliptical machine when that story was on!!! I wish you lived closer, I would love to have a playdate with Anne, Cassidy, Dylan & Whitney... Have a good Thursday :)

Derek, Kenzee and Gage! said...

Yes, I am now bawling. That was so awesome, I loved it. It just makes you feel so much hope, I love it. And especially how much love was shown to him by everyone, everyone was cheering for him to succeed.

Cathy said...

I saw it too! It brought tears to my eyes. I also watched the episode of Scrubs the other night that featured a young actor with Ds. It's awesome to see this stuff. The world needs to know that it's OK!!

BTW...I just posted the same thing on my blog before reading yours...without your eloquent thougths though.

Kleidy said...

WONDERFUL post!!!. I would also like to see and get to know more individuals with Ds. Laurie, thank you so much for sharing this INSPIRING story, LOVE it :).

I had the great opportunity to meet Chris Burke ( at the office, we spoke for few minutes, he is absolutely AMAZING!!!.

Other awesome people with Ds are:

Adrienne said...

Okay, now I'm bawling too! Laurie, like you I was a competitive swimmer- I swam through college and I remember reading your post a while back about the swimmer that dove in but he didn't dive he jumped and at first you thought- you thought everyone cheered for him because it was like a pity clap but then you realized that it made his parents truely happy to see him succeed at something that was difficult for him. Just like this teenager-although I must say he was really good, his peers were honestly happy for him! I've struggled with how our little Bennett may never be the star athlete or an athlete at all but I now I've come to realize it's not about what makes me happy- winning or being the best or fastest- it's about what is going to make him happy. And I've realized that with my other girls- if they aren't the best swimmers or soccer players or what ever they choose to do- as long as they are happy in what they are doing that's all that matters. I'm so glad you posted this because I didn't see it this morning. What a great story!!

Karly said...

I saw that this morning too...and had the same reaction. At least you know you weren't crying (or hoping) alone.

Anonymous said...

Charlie and I watched and cheered during that story this morning. It was such a wonderful story of hope. And as a parent of a son with DS it was so wonderful to see a boy with DS doing something so "normal" - playing high school basketball and being supported and cheered by his peers. What a beautiful way to start the morning!

Karen said...

Lauri, i saw that this morning and thought of you! What an inspirational story. I was crying by the end of it. I was so moved by the other players on the team too, what great guys.

Eva said...

Hello - I follow your days with Dylan. I have a beautiful son with Down syndrome. He's now 9 month's old.

Eva's Chaos

I would never limit any of Brogan's "personal growth" aspirations even at this age and the video that you posted was so inspirational.

I love my own son. I don't think he looks weird and I haven't noticed much of a difference in his VS his older sister's growth patterns/intelligence/strength ...

I love my beautiful baby boy - who intentionally flirts with every woman at the grocery store that he can... he gives them the "eyebrow" - that melts my heart for sure.. and then it's all over with. They are in love. Oh and they also know his name and know who he is! That is very cool!

I think Brogan will do very well in this community and that he will feel accepted and feel like he can do a great job for us all in whatever niche he wants to pursue.

Thanks guys- Eva Ranting. Late, tired, baby awake, see you tomorrow!

Amy said...

Well that made me cry. How awesome is that!