Sunday, October 18, 2009

Extraordinary Everyday

Riley and I went shopping today. She is becoming my best shopping partner. I love it when she tells me clothes are cute, or if she doesn't like something she tells me No mama, not cute. Today, like always, Riley was sitting in the buggy(cart for you non southerners)a lady came up and told her how beautiful she was. Riley never meets a stranger and was perfectly happy to converse with the woman. She told me that she had an adorable son, like Riley, then opened her wallet to show his picture. He was a precious little blonde boy with Down Syndrome. We talked awhile, I asked how old he was, she said he would be 27 years old(a year younger than me, but he passed away when he was 6 because he had heart complications and he had 4 surgeries in his short life. This is a very common issue for children with Downs. In fact 1 in 3 babies with Down Syndrome is born with a heart defect. It reminded me again how blessed we are that Riley has had no medical issues. And It also made me think how far medicine and the treatment of individuals with Down Syndrome has come. As the woman walked away she thanked me for letting her talk to Riley. Riley waved bye and blew a kiss, then as if she knew the woman needed more, she puckered up. The woman looked nervously at me not sure how to react, then leaned down and Riley kissed her gently on the cheek. Big tears rolled down her face and she said, "Riley you made my whole day!" I teared up, it was such an extraordinary moment in an everyday setting. I'm dedicating this blog to the memory of little "J" and all the babies like him who helped pave the way for better understanding and treatment for children like Riley.