People say that a mother's love is blind. I've come to think of it differently, that perhaps a mother's love sees with the truest sight there is. She sees a child of God, she sees God given potential before it is there. When that child behaves poorly or makes terrible choices, she still knows that is not who they are and despite pain or frustration she loves regardless of the acts. Her love is akin to Gods love - imperfect
as it is - that we can give or receive as flawed human beings. This doesn't mean I do an award winning job of it -I'll be the first to admit it but it does mean that in all the loving we give our best at that moment and God makes up for the rest.
All these thoughts are churning through me because of an experience I had today while aiding at the preschool. I have been a little shelter and naive about how people would receive Elias. I am blessed to be surround by those who see past his diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive but I was hurt today by the responses of some women's to my son. It was a busy day in the nursery, we had six children and four of them were new to the room. There was the expected crying and sadness, but out came the binkies, blankets and stuffed animals. Soon everyone was distracted and asettled. I had the job of changing all the diapers while the others handle the food for sanitary purposes. It just seemed to be one of those days where there was a constant flood (pun intended!) of diaper issues and I couldn't get any time with any children, let alone my son. The joy/trial of a child with Down Syndrome is that they are often so content to lay quietly that they become neglected.
Since I was busy I asked one of the moms to feed my soon. I briefly explained that he had DS and taught her how to support him so as to help him eat a little easier. There is now a look, typically of pity, that I've grown use to but I brushed it off. She didn't do much beyond that and I simply thought she might not be a motherly type but then later I saw her cooing to another child exactly the same age as Elias. It bothered me a little but I thought it might be due to a lack of education on her part. I shared with the other moms what I had been learning from our physical therapist and made particular mention that all children, but especially children with special needs needed to have attention and stimulus to encourage them in their development.
It was apparent that two of the gals had signed up together hoping for plenty of chat time and for a baby fix. It gave me hope that they might enjoy snuggling my son but even when all the children were happily occupied, no one checked on my son. At several points during the two and a half hours I had to direct one of them to place a toy in Elias hand that had fallen from his reach. The other six month old child was constantly picked up and held when he wanted nothing more than to inchworm his way across the floor. He'd squirm out of their arms while my son laid there, in sight totally unoccupied and unnoticed while I was too busy to give him some love. Thankfully one of the three women there noticed my distress and finally held him and spke to him. I was so grateful to her for this small but gracious act.
This is the first time I have really felt gap and longed to connect to another who had a child that may not have the perfect body but certainly had as precious a soul as any other child. I ached inside and held Elias all through his afternoon nap with a deeper tenderness than usual as if to make up for this morning. I realized that to some degree these women may not have been comfortable with him and this affords me a chance to educate others about people like him. But it doesn't mean it didn't hurt me that they couldn't see what I saw and give him that SOME love and care.
I now understand why Rick and Abby Smith or Kelle Hampton write their blogs. I now truly see that there is a need to educate others and though my reach is small perhaps it will ripple out and make a difference somewhere or for someone. I am so excited for this weekend to attend the Buddy Walk. Without saying a word I know these people will understand my heart.