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.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Down Syndrome

child with down syndrome learns to ride a strider bike

Specially-Made Bikes Help Kids With Down Syndrome Learn How to Ride

Introducing: the strider bike, a bike without pedals designed to improve balance and coordination. At a summer camp at The College of St. Scholastica, they’re being used to teach kids with Down syndrome how to ride bikes. “Kids with Down syndrome are just like any other kids,” one camper’s dad, Steven L. Halverson told WDIO.com. “They [...]

'What Are You Going to Do When He Grows Up?'

“What are you going to do when he grows up?” That’s the question posed to you for the last 20 years. And although you’ve given one  answer or another, time after time, it still feels as if this moment has snuck up on you. Remember the day you found out you were pregnant? You knew then that [...]

Big Sister’s Drawings Help Others See the Beauty in Down Syndrome

When Hayley Goleniowska’s youngest daughter, Natty, was diagnosed with Down syndrome, Goleniowska and her husband, Bob, thought first of their oldest daughter, Mia. How would they explain Natty’s delays to a 2-year-old? They started searching for sibling support books, but mostly came up short. So, they figured they would just write their own. The couple had no [...]

Ricchina Grande, Woman With Down Syndrome, Has Wedding-Themed Birthday Party

Ricchina Grande loves weddings. She loves the music and the dancing, the gowns and the flowers, the people and the smiles. She loves the love. But when the receptions end and it’s time to go home, the 24-year-old, who has Down syndrome, finds herself in a funk — one that sometimes lasts for days. Her mother, [...]