Today I was prepared for a bad day. 3 1/2 year old Seth, very sick, going to the ENT in a waiting room full of rowdy children. I brought the stroller today, I KNEW what was coming for me. I came prepared with snacks and bribes and the Ipad . . . I pulled out the whole arsenal.
On our second hour in the waiting room another couple comes in with their child. My eyes lock on to him while theirs lock on Seth. We smile and greet each other like old friends. We've never met. In our hearts we have though.
The amazing thing about this Down Syndrome journey is that I am not alone. We are not alone ladies (and dads out there).
Back to the couple. They run over and this woman, a woman I didn't know, hugs my child. I mean the most honest, true, loving hug a person could give a child. A hug stemming from pure love and her beauty. She instantly loved Seth and I instantly fell in love with her six year old Brandon. It was like seeing Seth in the future. They both had the same hair, the same eyes, Brandon didn't care for me that much . . . he was too into his Nemo book. Yep he could read. That made me smile. Potential. The potential that I saw for Seth in Brandon's eyes and his loving family. They were so in love with their son and that transferred over to Seth and Seth was loving the attention!!!!
So if anyone was in the waiting room today, all eyes were on us. I felt them, the eyes of the other moms and dads in the waiting room. It's like they witnessed a magical moment, two families coming together over a commonality, one that has changed their lives, their personalities, has expanded their inner beauty and made them wonderful.
Another magical thing is the sharing of information that comes when you meet a parent that is going through the same journey. Instantly words like EI and IEP and ear tubes and sleep study and heart problems were thrown around. Because we KNOW. WE KNOW. We've been through it. She gave me the number of a place in New York that provides children with special needs over 3 years old diapers for free through their medical insurance. She took a motherly role with me and made sure I knew about all the programs available for Seth. I do, but I didn't know about the diapers. That will help our little family out a lot.
I helped her out by telling her that her son will be fine having his tonsils and adenoids out and ear tubes put in and that Seth benefited very much from having that done. I told her that the ear tubes will help with speech because better hearing equals better quality of speech. I told her that it was a hard thing to see your child go through but the outcomes of better speech and less sickness and improvement in sleep were so worth it. I would have liked to hear those things before Seth had his surgery. I needed to hear those things, but I didn't. But now I know and I can share.
So today was hot, very hot, Seth was sick, but after leaving the ENT we both had a glow, Seth and I. We had this glow about us and everyone we passed seemed to be smiling at us as we went along. The women at the blood draw place were ooohhinnng and ahhhinnngg over Seth, the person who drew his blood was so sweet and gentle. Seth got cake today, apparently after blood draws now my hospital gives kids cake (awesome for sugar replacement!!). You should have seen his eyes. They widened when he saw that cake, I imagine his thought process was "OMG I GETS THE CAKE!!!"
Leaving the laboratory for blood draws Seth is happily eating his cake, I drank his orange juice (juice and cake!!) for him (reflux + orange juice = BAD) and everyone we passed saw this little boy, eating his cake, making a mess and they only had smiles. So even though we were tired and I hate the heat like nothing else in this world, and Seth just had a needle forced into his body and instruments of torture stuck in his ears and throat, we sat down in the sun, him with his cake, I with my NY corner stand hot dog, and we ate and reflected on our day. I would like to think that Seth was thinking about how loved he is and all the great people he met today. That's what was on my mind.