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The things people say

October 4, 2007

A co-worker just pointed me to his wife’s blog.  Mrs has the name of Christine, and her blog chronicles her life as a mom of triplets.  Which is enough to make her an IT Girl in my book, but that’s another post altogether.

She has a great post about the comments she gets from strangers about her girls. Unfortunately, strangers with running mouths are not exclusively attracted to triplets, but you have to know that they see way more of them than I do. 

IT boy just turned one, which is quite a milestone for any little guy.  Of course, I do get the usual questions in the mall and the supermarket because he is above average for his size, while being delayed in terms of gross and fine motor skills.  Which is to say he isn’t walking yet, and he probably won’t for a little while.  No, I don’t know why.  Yes, we have him in services to work on this, and no we don’t think this is rushing him.  Yes, I know we can do what we want with him.  Sometimes people just can’t stop commenting on this stuff.  Everyone has their own supermarket bugaboo I guess, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  I want the world to see my little guy as I see him – a happy and loving boy who is truly a gift to my family.  

Something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago I was at a park hit home.  I was with IT boy and big girl.  There was another mom who was watching her boy run around.  I was admiring the way that her son was running weaving around the other kids and laughing up a storm.  So happy to be out on a beautiful day playing with friends.  I have to admit I was secretly daydreaming that IT boy would run and play like that someday, just like other kids.  I asked the other mom how old her boy was, and she looked at me with the face of a cautious mom bracing for the questions she just didn’t want to answer as she told me he was 5 and just starting kindergarten.  I said that was great and he must bring such joy to her family.  She seemed to exhale when she said Thanks, and it wasn’t until then when I got a little closer to him that I realized her little guy had Down’s Syndrome.  I totally didn’t notice that and instead just saw a great kid.  Which is just what every mom hopes the world sees.  Just a another great kid.  Who could ask for anything more?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2007 1:17 pm

    Hi Ellen,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I think you really hit the nail on the head with this:

    “I want the world to see my little guy as I see him – a happy and loving boy who is truly a gift to my family.”

    The comments that we get that bother me the most are of the “I feel sorry for you” variety. I get so upset when people look at my children and think they must be a horrible burden. I always bend over backwards telling people how happy we are and how lucky we feel mainly because I worry that at almost 2, the girls might be starting to understand some of what people are saying.

    Hope to meet you one of these days when I’m in Corporate HQ. I’m also looking forward to reading Blogging with Moxie!

    -Christine

  2. Colleen permalink
    October 4, 2007 4:56 pm

    Beautifully said, Ellen.
    Of course I have to reply to a post that has triplets in it. I am just an aunt of trips, I am shocked by the questions that even I get.
    I am in the middle of the Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and this posting was well timed for me 😉

  3. October 4, 2007 6:14 pm

    About a year ago, Vanessa and I were at a birthday party for my niece, and one of her cousins from the other side of the family was there– a beautiful little girl with Down’s Syndrome. My brother-in-law saw me watching as my bratty niece yanked a toy out of the little girl’s hand and said something to the effect of “That’s what happens when you try to have babies when you’re over 40.” Completely reduced this happy little girl’s life to what he perceived as a poor decision on her parents’ part.

    Every time I see him he asks if we’re pregnant yet. Last time I told him about our unsuccessful IVF and my crappy eggs. I wonder if he remembers what he said about that little girl whose parents obviously love and want her so much.

  4. October 4, 2007 6:49 pm

    Christine, I cannot imagine how it feels to have people regularly say that say they feel sorry for you when you have been so blessed. I heard it once when my son was pitching a fit and my daughter was losing it. I took the guy who said it down, which probably wasn’t very polite.

    Melody – I remember when I was pregnant and having all the usual prenatal tests. Since I was older, we certainly faced the possiblity of having a child with a genetic defect, based on the screenings we underwent pre-conception. When we talked about what might be, we both felt that we were going to have the child we were going to have, and we’d make the best of it. When I saw that little boy running around, and I have seen him at school since, I’m overwhelmed by the light he brings to any situation. He truly is a dear and his parents are very lucky to have him for a son.

  5. October 5, 2007 3:42 pm

    Some very good friends of mine have three boys and the oldest has Down’s Syndrome. Truly it is such a misunderstood thing and my friends just view all their boys as blessings. Ian is a happy, well-adjusted little boy who brings joy to everyone he knows. They are really involved with a great organization called GiGi’s Playhouse – I attended a fundraiser there last year. http://www.gigisplayhouse.com

  6. October 6, 2007 3:12 am

    Often people make comments (when she was a newborn I actually had a few people comment that they thought she was doll…weird) that Addison is so small and hint that we don’t feed her or take care of her. For the longest time I’d find myself telling strangers that she was a preemie as if I had to justify her size. Finally, I realized that no explanation is needed. I certainly don’t want Addison to think that she can’t accomplish something because of her early start.

    It has been a hard balance between being proud of what she has accomplished and being manic of what comes next.

    Most importantly, I’m eternally grateful to be her mommy.

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