Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"What do you think?"

So this last week I was reading a blog.... a new one that I ran across. Actually I followed Michelle R Slape on Twitter (please feel free to follow her), and saw she had a blog (click and you will be whisked away to it). A couple of blogs actually as well as a photography business... But back to the blog post...

So I was be-bopping back and forth through her blogs when I saw her post this last Friday titled Down Syndrome Fact Friday - How Do You Deal?  and I read it. And it touched me. I was very impressed with how Michelle handled the question "What do you think when you look at him?" a question posed to her about her 4 year old son who has Down syndrome.

The question was asked in innocence and from a different cultural point of view, from someone trying to understand. The person asking came from a different culture and had no idea what Down syndrome is. So from what I gather Michelle explained what Down syndrome is. So they asked the question - "What do you think when you look at him? How do you deal with all that comes with Down syndrome (I para-phrased that last question)?" I encourage you to read Michelle's way of answering this person's questions here - MRS Photography.

But it made me think... what if I were asked this same question, how would I address it? It actually has been on my mind ALL weekend and part of this week. I have thinking about this and wanting to blog... it's not as easy as you would think! LOL!!

What do I think when I look at my son Gabriel?

And that was when I realized I don't think anything. That isn't to say I do not have thoughts going through my head, obviously I do. But when I look at Gabriel, I just see Gabriel, I do not see the Downs. I mean if you look at a child who is color blind do you see that? Or if you look at a child who has ADD do you see the disorder? So yes when you look at Gabriel you know he is different, Downs does have physical characteristics... but when I look at him I see the little boy, not the diagnosis.

And truthfully raising him has not been too much more difficult than raising my two older "typical" children. Sure we have had and do have challenges but I guess I have taken it into stride that that is just a part of parenting, not specific to Gabriel per se. I mean tomorrow either one of my children could get seriously sick, or have a serious accident, God willing it does happen, but it could. It would not make them less than.. or less than my child, it would just be something we would have to work through as a family and it would just become a part of our daily life and routine. A part of the whole of who we are. If something were to happen it would not change the people they are, it would be in addition to.

That is how I look at my little guy G. Down syndrome does not define who he is or will be as a person, but it is a part of who he is, just not ALL of who he is. I see past the diagnosis to the person and like Michelle my hope too is that when people look at Gabriel, they see beyond the diagnosis and see the wonderful, playful, smart, clever, funny, stubborn, happy little guy that I see. A "typical" toddler growing into a person with so much potential and so much to contribute and give to the world.

I love you my little "Porkachop"!


  1. Excellent post Bobbie!!! I agree completely and view Gianna in the same way :) Kisses to that little Porkchop... I miss him!
    Michelle W
    Las Vegas NV

  2. Hello Michelle (my beautiful friend!),

    Hey sweetie!!! I just love you to pieces. I really hope to meet your beautiful Gianna one of these days soon. I love her to pieces too!! I love reading your statuses. I am so happy you have found your happiness. You so deserve it :) I wish you could see the "Chop" he's getting bigger. Miss you.

  3. I love that picture!!!!! What a beautiful baby boy!

    Isn't it amazing how our kids teach us to not judge based on external appearaces? I try to remember every day to view life through Cody's eyes.

    Great post!!!!!

  4. Thanks for having me in your blog list. I really appreciate it!

  5. This is so beautiful! You're such an amazing person and your kids are very lucky to have you ;)

  6. Michelle S.

    That beautiful smile is what I get the pleasure of waking up to everyday. When I hear him in there moving about & walk in... He looks up with the biggest smile, so thank you :)

    And you are right... he has helped so much in that area.. although honestly I judge people more on their behavior and actions not their looks.

  7. Belle,

    You are very welcome, I enjoy your articles and posts :)

  8. Oh Elisabeth...

    You are the amazing one! I am just loving your blog! Since I started reading your blog (and others) you put a smile on my face and things into perspective. And... I WANT A POTATO SHOOTER!!! Hilarious!!!