“Love, Like Me!”

I wrote this story some time ago about my oldest child. Although my story relates to filial love rather than romantic love, I still thought it was suitable for Valentine’s Day, and because the T-shirt referred to in the story is a Ron Paul rEVOLution shirt, I couldn’t resist posting it! [this post is part of my effort to restore my purged posts]

“That says ‘LOVE,’ like me!”

Two years after my son Luke was born, we went on vacation to a family-friendly resort in Mexico. While I was swimming in the big pool with Luke, a woman came up to me and said, “How old is he, Mom?” I said, “two.” She bade me follow her and led me to her family. She introduced me to her husband, her two daughters and her son, a real corn-fed looking blonde teenager who had Down syndrome, like Luke. I was still struggling to understand what life would be like with a child who had Down syndrome so I was happy to meet her son, but as had happened before when I met people with Down syndrome, I was completely lost trying to communicate with him. His language was totally unintelligible to me. As a well-educated person and voracious reader with the gift of gab, all of my interest in human interaction consisted of exchanging ideas. I couldn’t get anywhere with this kid and finally gave up. I asked the parents a few questions beginning to think about politely exiting. As the conversation was winding down they mentioned what a joy their children were to them, and pointing to their son, now back by the pool, the father said, “Just look at him, he’s all love!” But all I saw was a boy with a chromosomal abnormality with whom I could not imagine having any kind of relationship. I truly could not see what they saw, but I was comforted to think he made them feel good.

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