Over 12 years ago I met a group of women who became instant friends... all because of a chromosomal abnormality. Within a period of about 6 months, we had collectively given birth to 5 baby boys and 5 baby girls who happened to have an extra 21st chromosome. We found each other and began to navigate the path of raising a child with Down syndrome together. We had playdates, Mom's nights' out together, and lots of phone conversations as we cried and laughed our way through our babies' first years of life.
We needed each other, we depended on one another, and through it all we developed a bond that has lasted for over 12yrs. now. Our times together are way more infrequent than they were back then (although we do have 2 more get togethers on the calendar already--right Kate???) but that bond remains strong. Do you know why?
Because no one else can laugh with you at the things your child does that are actually quite bizarre ,and not offend you. But THEY can, because they LIVE it, and they too have learned to LAUGH about it rather than stare and point fingers like others may choose to do.
They can truly be excited about your child's accomplishments because they too have lived through the work they KNOW it took to get your child to that milestone.
We totally "get" each other even though we rarely get to see each other. We can pick up where we left off even if it's been 2yrs. since the last reunion. We are not just a special group of friends because our kids are labelled "special needs". We are special because we are bonded by our fierce and unwavering love and advocacy for our children that society still deems as second class.
So tonight was one of those rare occasions when most of our schedules lined up to get together to enjoy a night of laughter and catching up. I enjoyed every minute of it and can't wait for the next reunion!
Mom's of kids with Ds are a pretty good-looking bunch don't you think? :)
Quick Nadia Update: Nadia's ear tube surgery has been moved to Thursday morning instead of tomorrow morning. Thanks ahead of time for your prayers!