I took Katherine and Will to swimming lessons yesterday. The lessons are held at the local YMCA, and there is a viewing room for parents. There are quite a few different lessons going on at the same time, as Saturday mornings are pretty busy. I was particularly intrigued by a young girl and her instructor working right next to Will's group. The young girl was probably about nine or so, and had Down syndrome. Quickly I realized her parents were sitting right next to me in the viewing room.
I have been in this situation before. I really wanted to say something to her parents; to strike up a conversation. I just don't know how. I didn't have Charlotte with me, and I always worry about offending someone. I consider myself a pretty outgoing person, except in situations like these. So instead, I quietly sat and watched this little girl for the remainder of the lesson. And like most times when I see individuals with Down syndrome in different situations, I was very encouraged and impressed. This little girl seemed like any other kid in that pool; doing exactly the same things and loving every second of it.
I would love to meet more parents of children with Down syndrome, and talk about their experiences. I am lucky to have internet resources such as message boards, blogs, and a local list serve to keep me connected at home. I am sure in the months and years to come, I will meet many families, I just need to figure out how to start that conversation!