Being The Mom Of A Child with Special Needs Is New To Me

I'm still trying to get used to being labeled as a "mom of a child with special needs". (Here's our story.) I'd much rather just be known as a mom with two amazing girls - one just happens to have an extra chromosome. It always makes for a interesting conversation when a stranger approaches me to admire my cute babies. They make me laugh, smile and sometimes even cry.

Last week, a woman in Chick-Fil-A approached me to admire Molly and all of her cuteness.(Can you blame her?) After asking me how old Molly was, she paused and said "I also have a daughter with Down Syndrome. She's 32 and out of all four my children - she is the most independent. She has a job at the grocery store, she plays the piano and participates in piano recitals." You could tell this was a proud mom, she continued to tell me about her daughter's successful life (so far) and how proud she was of her. I instantly felt the tears welling up in my eyes and it wasn't because I was sad. It was comforting and reassuring to hear a total stranger tell me in a roundabout way, that everything was going to be okay.

It's always a little shocking when people stop me and share their connection with Down Syndrome. Don't get me wrong, I love talking and hearing people's stories, it's just something I'm still trying to get used to. Each time it happens, my first internal thought is "How did they know?" I think of myself as a friendly person and love talking to people, but when it's something this personal - it's an emotional moment for everyone involved. I'm so happy that the lady in Chick-Fil-A approached me last week. It is always very uplifting to know that there are others who have been in my shoes...and that my Molly is on the path to a bright, fulfilling life! I couldn't be more proud of her!

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