Saturday, September 20, 2008

"I'm Gonna Sit by That Baby!!"

Last night we spent our evening at California Adventure... we love that we are so close that we can often frequent California Adventure or Disneyland for a few hours of escape. However, we have never been much of "parade people" until last night... 

We usually use parade time to enjoy rides when the lines tend to be a little shorter, but last night we decided to sit and watch the parade and I am so glad we did, I guarantee you we will now be searching out parades. I only wish I had taken pictures!! When Reid first heard the music approaching he started to get excited and began to move his arms up and down a little bit but when he saw the characters it was all over... he stood up and started waving hi with both hands and making sounds only he could interpret...he then blew kisses and continued with the arms going crazy. He was so excited...and he got A LOT of attention. As the characters came by there were very few that did not come over and high five him or say hi. In fact, he got so much attention that a little girl who was sitting several people over from us said, "I'm gonna sit by that baby!!" and she joined us for the remainder of the parade. :)

It did my heart good to see him so engaged and excited. It was funny though because there were times I could see this look on the faces of a few of the parade participants/characters who realized he had Down syndrome, right there in the middle of their performance, and the looks on their face was this sort of, "ohhh", a nice, kind "ohhh" with a sweet smile, but definitely an awareness that he stood out (I don't know if that makes sense). I actually was very touched by the sweet smiles and the attention they gave was encouraging, but there were times I used to be very sensitive to this. There have been times I have caught people staring at us, at him, and the momma bear in me wanted to pull him close to me and then kick those people, hard, as I walked by. I am sure they were only trying to register what his diagnosis was if they weren't familiar with Down syndrome, or who knows what, but still I felt sensitive and didn't want the looks. My husband has always encouraged me to just walk proud and show people how much we love him. And, of course he is right...because I am Reid's advocate, his protector, and his vessel to show people how lovely, capable, and amazing he is...extra chromosome and all. So, I don't desire to kick people hard anymore...but walk as the proud mommy that I am, of both of my boys. 


Heather said...

You should be proud of yourself.Reid.Of your beautiful family.You are all perfect in every way.I know the look however.The initial smile and glance towards a little baby.Then ... the double take.Not that she is no longer cute but the realization oh ......I have often thought that a t-shirt that read "Yes,she has Down syndrome" would take care of it.But that would mean I would have to get one for each day of the week and quite frankly I like a little more variety to my wardrobe.Maybe ....same words,different colors.Yes that's it,may take care of the stares.And yes,I so wish you had pictures too that capture the happy faces at the "Happiest Place on Earth"

Kele said...

Cheri, I love this post. It makes me proud to be your friend.
I haven't been out there yet to experience 'the looks'. I know at first it is going to bother me. I hope I can learn from you, from Heather, from all my lovely friends who are walking this path a little ahead of me.
Your husband is right, 'Walk proud'. That sounds like something my Mike would say and is good advice! When people see us proud and madly in love with our babies, that look will change from 'ooohh' in the sad way, to 'ooohh' in the GOOD way!!
And next time...DON'T FORGET YOUR CAMERA!!! I would of loved to see those pics!!

Jeanette said...

Sounds like you had a blast. I have felt that mama bear feeling myself. Mostly the double takes end with that sweet smile that you are talking about, only sometimes do we see the uncomfortable double take. I tell my husband that sometimes I feel like we are traveling with a celebrity, she gets so much attention. I am glad that you discovered the joy of Disney parades. No one can do a parade like they can. I wish we lived closer. I LOVE Disney!

Genny said...

Your son is precious! I am SO glad you stopped by and left your beautiful comment and gift idea on my site, so I could find yours. I loved Jennifer's article in Kidaround, and her blog at trishacharm is beautiful too. I hope many people read your comment on my site...I hadn't heard of Reeces Rainbow and it sounds like a wonderful organization. Thank you for making me aware of it, and thank you for stopping by!

Genny said...

By the way, Luke is precious too! What wonderful photos!

Judy said...

Cheri~ You should be very proud of your boys! They are beautiful and you are an awesome mom and advocate!
Reid looks amazing! I know what you mean about the "looks". We get them too when Noah acts up in public or starts flapping his hands. I'm learning to ignore it but I do have some "I may have to pound on you if you dont stop staring and judging us" moments :)
Thanks for sharing your blog...I really enjoy reading it! :)