Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


The Summer I was 14, I was desperate to volunteer. I wanted to be a proper candy striper with that cool uniform. But, you had to be 16 to do that so I volunteered at a home for mentally (and some physically) challenged kids. Their families had dumped them into what everyone called the retarded kids home.

ASIDE: OMG I just Googled and it's still there!! It was a fairly dismal looking place as I remember it but they've brightened up the physical space and their attitudes quite a bit!

Anyway, I loved it. I loved those kids so much. They were mostly full of smiles and giggles and not at all concerned that the world had thrown them away.

There was one. Billy. Billy adopted me the first day and we spent the Summer pretty much attached at the hip. Billy was going to play ball "like Mikey Mantle!!!!". He told me this every day. Back then, we called what Billy a Mongoloid. He had Downs Syndrome. And he was amazing and wonderful. And always so full of joy and excitement. Every day that Summer was better because Billy was there.

I visited him fairly often after that Summer until I went to college. I hope he's happy and well. He gave me a life long love of everyone with Downs Syndrome. They are beautiful and wonderful people with so much to share.

I'm thinking about him this morning because the 2018 Gerber baby was just announced on national TV and he has Downs Syndrome. Honestly the very idea that someone like Billy is on the Today's Show and is being celebrated brings tears to my eyes.

A lot of the people I follow on Instagram have kids with Downs. I love seeing their adorable faces and hearing their tales of triumph. (I also follow a lot of people who have pet wallabies so conclusions shouldn't really be drawn from my Instagram feed.)

I expect today my Instagram feed will be full of triumph and joy. What a fun thing to look forward to.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.