Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

My first date with Down syndrome

on March 19, 2014

Almost exactly a month ago, I wrote about how I was trying to find my place in the Down syndrome community.  I’m still working on that.  Last night, I made some progress.  

I joined a group called UPS for DownS.  It’s a group for parent advocacy, social gatherings, etc.  And last night, we had our first date.  🙂  Like any good potential partner, they sent me a little gift prior to our night out.  Generally, I’d prefer flowers or chocolate, but this care package was pretty sweet:

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I agonized over my outfit for a good part of the day.  Should I be casual?  Is a hoodie too casual?  And I’m three months postpartum, so let’s be honest here, my clothes aren’t exactly fitting as well as they should.  They don’t fit at all, really.  After tearing apart my pre-pregnancy wardrobe, my maternity wardrobe, my post-Ellie wardrobe and a considerable number of clothes in the hamper that didn’t smell too bad, I settled on a sweater and jeans.  I wore green… and for a second, I wondered if it was a faux pas to wear green the day after St. Paddy’s.  Too bad.  It was on, it fit, I was going with it.  So then it was 3:00 and I wasn’t leaving until 5:30.  Let the thumb-twiddling commence.

Just like when I was 14 years old going on my first real date, I took a chaperone, my mom (the children needed a babysitter, so John stayed home with them).  We (I) nervously chattered away in the car.  We got there too early, we went to grab some food, our waitress disappeared, then we were almost late… it was all very dramatic.

When we finally arrived, I was clearly the new girl.  First of all, the evening began at 7:30.  We arrived at 7:25ish and everyone was seated, chatting, wine in hand (yes, wine.  OK, I’m at home now).  My name tag on the table was accompanied by a blank information sheet waiting to be filled out.  And there was a welcoming committee.  It was quite sweet actually.

Since Tessa was born, I scan every room I enter for another child with Down syndrome, wondering if others actually do exist in my part of the world.  I’ve always imagined that I would see them and be brave, say hello, introduce Tessa…. and here I was, in a large room filled with parents who have children just like mine… and I literally had no idea what to say.  Everyone was very considerate, friendly, welcoming, concerned for my emotional health (which is quite good, thank you very much).  After the presentation (on sleep apnea… which was fascinating and exhausting all at the same time), lots of moms came to say hello and invited me to keep coming back.  

(One mom did mention my day-after-St. Patrick’s Day-green clothing.  I don’t think it was a bad color choice, after talking to her.)

It was a successful evening and I think we’ll go out again.  Maybe next time I’ll bring John to make it interesting.  I don’t think that Down syndrome and I will be breaking up any time soon… we’re getting along quite well.  

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2 responses to “My first date with Down syndrome

  1. That “Babies with Down Syndrome” book is great and really informative!

    • Maggie says:

      Haha, yes! We have actually been given FIVE copies from different places!! John and I each have a copy, one for each of the grandparent sets, and one for the babysitter.

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