Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome


on June 30, 2014

I don’t usually see Down syndrome when I look at Tessa, but I do catch a glimpse here and there of her almond eyes or flat nasal bridge. I’m always curious to know if people can see it in her. Not fearful or frustrated, just curious.

I mention this now because we were spotted this weekend by a fellow member of our Ds community and it kind of jolted me a little bit into our reality. It’s something that I have been thinking about and planning for (as if I have control over it) for a long time. I always wondered what it would be like to meet other moms in our Ds community at random. It hadn’t happened yet, up until now.

Really, I spotted the little boy first. And froze. We were visiting a children’s museum in Kentucky with some family over the weekend. As I walked into the open parlor, he had his back to me, but his stance gave him away. I maneuvered my stroller to get a better view and knew immediately that he was one of our community. Watching him play with his typical brother and another little boy with Down syndrome was refreshing. They played and explored as all children do. They caused the same mischief as Ellie does. They laughed and enjoyed the exhibits right alongside their typical peers.

I’m sure his mother saw me looking at him, so, silly as this may be, I tried to keep Tessa turned so that she could see our baby girl’s sweet face. I wanted her to know that I wasn’t one of the people who stare… that I was a momma looking for better understanding of who my child might be.

She approached me, asked how old Tessa was and I shared. I stumbled around looking for something to say back and settled on asking her boy’s age (four). He ran by us at that moment and she grabbed him and showed him the baby. He took absolutely no interest in Tessa and squirmed away and that was that.

I wish I had been more engaging, that I had better articulated how watching her son run and play made me genuinely happy. I was too overwhelmed in that instance that someone knew. I’m just grateful that she was kind enough to approach me, to tell me that Tessa is a doll, and that she wasn’t upset by my awkward glances toward her family.

Kentucky Mom, wherever you are, you totally made my day.

And now, cuteness:

Fish lips


A Princess Anna dress for the birthday girl


Silly faces with Mimi (my mom)


John loves a good Children’s Museum visit…


Hanging out on the moon with Papa (my dad)



6 responses to “Spotted

  1. lisa170 says:

    As someone who’s never really had anything to do with Ds and is slowly getting my education here. In some of your pics its very obvious. But most of them I don’t sort of think about it. Its just like looking at any other baby pic where I compare to my own baby. Things like ‘that kid never has snot on her face! How does she do that!?’ ‘And when is mine going to grow hair!!’

  2. jamieabradford says:

    You’re not in this alone! What a wonderful community we have now!

  3. Joanne says:

    Tessa is so freaking cute. EVERY time you post a pic of her, I squeal. Those familiar with DS will see it in her face, yes, but so what? Does that make her any less delicious?

    Methinks not!


    • Maggie says:

      1. She is a doll, isn’t she?? Wait until you see her pigtails!! 🙂

      2. I think my fear of people knowing is that they will treat her as less-than. On the flip side, the benefit of a visible disability is that (hopefully) people know to be more patient… it’s weird.

      3. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO WRITE AGAIN?? I can’t wait to hear more about Aisha!

      I hope you’re enjoying motherhood and adjusting well to a new human being in your home. 🙂


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