The other day as I walked into the public library I passed a young man with Down Syndrome standing at the entrance. I didn’t give any concern as to why he might be there waiting and remembered to smile on my way by.
Once the kids were settled in the children’s corner, I began chatting with a friend when suddenly an announcement came over the loud speaker. I was alarmed at first as I had never heard the intercom come on in the the library before. There was a chime and then a woman’s voice, “Would Matthew please come to the first floor information desk to meet your mother.”
I found this message somewhat strange and wondered just how old this Matthew was given the announcement was very proper (could just be the British), requesting his presence, to me, implying that he was not a child. But in that case why would a parent be looking for him. Then again, if he was a child, isn’t it usually someone who finds the child, takes them to information and the parents paged over the intercom to come and claim their child?
That was about as far as my thoughts wondered before I was drawn back into conversation.
It wasn’t long however, until again, the chime rang and a woman’s voice came on, a little more insistent but still proper requesting that Matthew come to information desk as his mother was waiting for him.
Again, I didn’t think much of it until a little while later I saw the young man with Down Syndrome following after a woman, who I could only assume to be his mother. Could it have been Matthew that they were calling over the loudspeaker?
I entertained this idea as I considered what the mother must have being thinking as she looked for her son with no success in the rather small library. Did her heart race as mine would if I lost Jakob in a mall or did she simply employ the help of the library staff because she was in a hurry and couldn’t be bothered to continue searching?
Earlier that day when we had been at the library the first time (we frequent there a lot), I had thought that perhaps Ella could work at a library when she was older. (As a mother of a child with special needs you are always subconsciously speculating on potential. Not necessarily good or bad, but just something that is not as constantly present in your thoughts about your child without special needs). I watched as she meticulously sorted her books, stacked them neatly on the table and selected one to read. That would be a very credible job, I thought (yes, I still think these things…let’s not get into it right now).
But if Matthew couldn’t even find his mom or manage to meet at an agreed place and time, how could I expect Ella to understand the Dewy-decimal system?
I find it so hard to believe that I won’t be able to trust Ella to get from A to B or hold a job when she is older. At almost three she is so quick. Just today, as I took Jakob into school, she led the way, took off her coat to hang on his hook and made herself at home in his classroom – she is SO ready for preschool. Perhaps she isn’t potty trained completely yet and has trouble saying words but she knows. She knows so much.
Time will tell, and perhaps she’ll slow down but I can’t help wonder if it’s as much nurture as it is nature. She is constantly saying “I do, I do, I do” (okay not quite clear but you know that is what she is saying) when it comes to putting her clothes on, doing up buttons, playing a DVD or cutting her food. She wants to do it, so for the most part I let her and I just pray she will be self-sufficient one day. Not because I don’t want the hassle but because she has the potential.
|Ella insisted on taking Baby to the park the other day. She walked her all the way there and all the way home and even remembered to take her purse.|