I was in the supermarket, otherwise known as my second home. My son, Xavier, (three at the time) was squirming in the trolley seat, eating raisins I had given him in a vain attempt to make think that shopping was a treat. An old man approached me and instinctively my heart sank. I, could see what was coming, or a variation of it anyway.
‘I go to church and there are two children like him there,’ he said, gravely, pointing at my child and proving me right. My heart plummeted; I had been here before.
‘Right,’ I said, inadequately not wanting to engage further. I started to push the trolley away, but he reached out and grabbed it, pulling it back and holding on tight. I cannot begin to explain how uncomfortable I was, but still I said nothing.
‘Yes, we all went to Egypt and you know what they called them?’ I mutely shook my head. I wanting to scream at this man to leave us alone, but I didn’t.
‘They laughed and called them cats, because of their eyes,’ he said.
‘Right, we have to go,’ I said again, starting to push my trolley, despite the fact he was still holding it. My little boy sat, oblivious, just eating his raisins. The man stared at us for a few more seconds; I stared back trying to convey my hostility through my eyes.
‘Be good for your mother,’ the man said to Xavier before letting me walk off. Xav totally ignored him. Yet another example where I wished I could be more like my son.
I am a mum. Xavier is lovely little boy. He happens to have Down’s Syndrome and where I cannot possibly argue that this doesn’t affect him in someways, I can argue it certainly doesn’t define him. It shouldn’t define anyone.
You may think I am a tad touchy and I am because my son is the most important person in my world, and I love him in a way I didn’t know existed until he existed. And if there is going to be a reoccurring theme in my blog, in my life it is that Xavier is Xavier and he deserves to be treated as such.
If you want to talk to him, fine, but please don’t comment on him like he can’t hear you or understand, he’s five now and he understands a lot.
Please don’t talk about him as if he isn’t an individual because I promise you he very much is, as is everyone with Down’s Syndrome or actually just as everyone is.
Right, rant over. For now…