How My Daughter With Down Syndrome Crushes 'That Look'

Today I’m thankful my daughter, Pip, teaches me to always be kind to others, even if I’m in a right-snarly-mood and want to teach someone a lesson. Yesterday, we had one of Pip’s (what feels like bazillionth) specialist’s appointments.

In a waiting room, no matter what, Pip always seems to draw attention. Mostly, people smile or engage in small talk which lights her up. But every once in awhile, I get “that look,” when people realize Pip has Down syndrome.

It’s a look I’ve come to recognize and if I let it, it has the power to make me want to cry, yell, shake and scream. It’s a look that feels as sheer pity with a sympathy smile added on top. It’s a look that truly makes me cringe and want to get on a soap box to preach my daughter’s worth. In the waiting room, a lady gave my daughter “that look.”

But this time, instead of saying anything, I let my daughter lead the way.

The lady watched as Pip and I giggled up a storm. She watched as Pip said, “hi” to everyone who entered the room. She watched as Pip helped a baby when he fell and held the hand of a nurse she adores. She watched as Pip asked for music and then danced in her chair, making everyone instantly smile. And she watched as my daughter signed and said, “Love you Mom” over and over. And then when they called our name to be finally seen, I took off the imaginary sign I felt I was wearing around my neck that read, “Do not pity my life.” I turned to the lady with the biggest smile, showing my upper gum, and proudly grabbed my daughter’s hand as walked away.


We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

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

Related to Down Syndrome

Mikayla Holmgren, Woman With Down Syndrome, to Compete for Miss Minnesota

Mikayla Holmgren, 22, is the first person with Down syndrome to compete for the title of Miss Minnesota and Miss USA. Read the full version of Mikayla Holmgren, Woman With Down Syndrome, to Compete for Miss Minnesota. Read the full transcript: This 22-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Wants to Be the Next Miss USA. Mikayla Holmgren [...]

To the T-Ball League That Didn't Let My Son With Down Syndrome Play

I emailed our local Little League organization back in the winter to inquire about both of my older kiddos enrolling in their T-ball program. I did mention in the email my oldest son, Jake, who is 5, has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. I mentioned it not as a question to his eligibility to attend [...]
Little boy with Down syndrome wearing a blue shirt and holding a sandwich

My Son With Down Syndrome Does Not Fit Your Stereotype

I have a son with Down syndrome, and I have a confession to make: the kindness of strangers really annoys me sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard horror stories from parents who’ve endured intolerance, rudeness, even downright cruelty directed at their children. I’m grateful I haven’t had to deal with that so far. What [...]
Little baby boy with Down syndrome sitting on a blue blacket outdoors. he is wearing a blue hat, plaid shirt with blue bowtie, blue jeans and blue shoes.; his Easter outfit.

A Future Without Down Syndrome?

A few months ago, I corresponded with the father of a young woman who has Down syndrome. His daughter is the co-owner of a successful small business. In his message to me, he made the statement that the future is looking bright for his daughter, and it will only be brighter for my son who [...]