In almost two years we have never had someone approach us and ask if Camden has Ds or mention anything about it. I always wondered when that first moment would come. I'm sure people have noticed or assumed, but probably just never said anything. Last month we were finally "spotted" at the grocery store while searching for milk. An older gentleman came up to Camden and just starting smiling and telling him how wonderful he is. He asked me how old he was and kept saying how "special" he was. I knew right then that he probably knew. The gentleman went on the tell me that he and his wife had fostered many children several years ago and how they all had special needs. He kept talking about this one child in particular and how she had a hole in her heart, and that it closed up without surgery. He then asked me about Camden's heart and at that moment there was no doubt that he new that Cam has Ds. He ended the conversation by giving me a hug and telling me how blessed I was. There was no mention of Down syndrome during the conversation, but there was that connection. My friends and I always say it's like a secret club. It was nice to finally by approached by someone in that "club".
Then just a few days later it happened again, and it was another older gentleman. I was eating breakfast out with the boys and this man walked up to Camden and started talking to him. He said that Camden kept staring at him while he was eating, so he had to come over and say hi. He also asked how old he was and then continued to play with him. Then he said, "I'm glad your mommy let you out of the closet so I could see you." At this moment I really had no idea what this guy was talking about. It was a bit awkward and I just smiled and said "Yep, I let him out." Then he went on to say that back in the day parents locked them up in the closet and never let them out in public. After that I realized that he knew. I suppose he wasn't saying anything bad, he was just very blunt. He then praised Camden for how well he was doing. Before he walked off he told me that he's doing so great and to keep up the good work. Hmmm. Thanks...I guess? I suppose he thought he was doing so great because he could actually eat pancakes? Or maybe it was because he would laugh and smile and interact? Or perhaps it was because he would scream and throw food across the table? It was interesting that he said that because it made me realize that there are many people out there who have certain perceptions about our kids. That is why I want to try and change how the world views Down syndrome. I want to squash the stereotypes.
I'm glad I let you out of the closet too, my sweet boy!