When a Woman Noticed My Daughter Because She Has Down Syndrome
It was a family affair. My family of five plus my in-laws went garage sale shopping. We found top notch walkie-talkies for $2, four Nintendo DS games for $10, an almost new set of Chaps suitcases for only $35, and many other great deals. And then there was the Mickey Mouse.
My youngest daughter has Down syndrome, and she happens to love Mickey Mouse. She was wearing a Minnie Mouse shirt that day, and Minnie Mouse shoes. Imagine her excitement when her big sister said, “Nichole, look! Mickey!”
In a basket, waiting to be loved, we found a Mickey Mouse.
Nichole picked up the mouse, hugged it tight.
“Do you like that Mickey sweetheart?” I asked.
“Yeth!” She said, hugging the toy a little tighter, smiling.
“How much do you want for the Mickey Mouse?” I asked the owner, who was smiling watching Nichole
“Well, let me go ask.”
She rounded the corner to go talk to her sister (they looked alike, I assume it was her sister).
“The cutest little girl with Down syndrome loves your Mickey Mouse,” she said. “She is wondering how much you want for it.”
The sister came to meet us, and asked Nichole, “Are you the little girl that loves my Mickey?”
“Yeth.” Nichole said.
“Mickey told me this morning that he was waiting for a very special girl to come and take him home.”
Then she put her hands around Nichole’s face and kissed the top of her head.
Nichole paid her back with a shy smile, and a “tenk-you.”
Then Nichole found a pink Mickey Mouse watch and showed it to her.
“Yes, you can have that too!”
Such a rascal!
I didn’t get to ask the woman what her connection was to Down syndrome, but that interaction (the way both sisters reacted to Nichole), makes me wonder if they had a personal connection. Perhaps they had a sibling with Down syndrome? Or an aunt? An uncle? They grew up with a neighbor who had Down syndrome?
Sometimes people stare at my daughter because she has Down syndrome, sometimes I can tell by the way they look at her that they feel pity, but not this time, and not this woman and her sister. There was a genuine appreciation of my daughter because of her extra chromosome, like they knew what a blessing she is to our family and everyone else around her.
Back in the car, Nichole held her Mickey Mouse close, and they have been buddies ever since.
This post originally appeared on EllenStumbo.com.