I used to pass the child in the street,
And quickly turn my head away.
I hoped that the pity in my heart was discreet,
Unnoticed by the mother, burdened in this way.
I watched the child's gait as she walked,
In that rocking motion that hampered her speed.
With a sigh, I tried not to gawk,
What misfortune was upon that family decreed!
I used to think: these people are of no use,
What could they think and say?
I would avert my eyes; seek some excuse,
Not to see the mother's shame; not to look her way.
That's the way I used to think
So it used to be,
Until the day you were born,
Until I had Chanie.
Your arrival opened the door,
Apprehensively, I looked inside,
And found a little girl to adore,
With so much more than meets the eye.
They clucked at your sad fate,
Said you would be retarded; slow-
I don't know - your sunny smile is not at all late,
Your boundless joy is QUICK to show.
Your enthusiasm at each occasion,
Every step you take with glee -
The warmth and happiness you exude,
Has enveloped my entire family.
So, when they see that mother, with her child in tow,
They needn't in pity their faces hide.
Rather a greeting and a smile bestow,
Acknowledging a mother's love and pride.
It is so different now,
Than the way it used to be....
Thanks Chanie, for opening my eyes.
Now, I can see.
This article first appeared in issue #6 of Down Syndrome Amongst Us