I don’t think I’m alone as a mum with a child who is unique when I say that some of my most challenging thoughts and questions are how will he form meaningful friendships that will arm him like they have done me in life? Not token friendships but real real friendships.
We work, we play, we party, we socialise and somewhere in the journey of life we form friendships that shape us outside of our family. We meet people that influence us (positively or negatively) and in turn we influence them. Eventually, fingers crossed, you find that path to the friendships that have shaped you so positively that they stay with you forever like family. Kevin and I have armfuls of those experiences and friends, good or bad they have shaped us as people and allowed us to explore this crazy world.
Since Luke made his grand entrance, Kevin and I have wondered if Luke will be able to explore this crazy world as we have done. And do you know what….yes he will and yes he already is….but with his eyes open wider than we ever had. He sees the beauty already so he doesn’t search like we did, he knows if he likes or distastes immediately so he doesn’t get stung. He sees adventure when it’s in front of him and if it’s not for him is able to walk away; he doesn’t worry or regret. He enjoys the party when it suits him and if it doesn’t he is OUTTA there, if he likes you he likes you and if you don’t reciprocate then again he will walk away with no worries or regret…because it was you who missed out.
So I guess I’m saying that you can’t really get more real than Luke. When I see children and adults who take their time to spend even 5 minutes with Luke and really understand him, I know that he has influenced their life in the most positive way, and if you haven’t engaged with Luke well that’s just your loss. He is forming the most wonderful meaningful friendships with the people that invest in him, and together that crazy world is explored in ways that I never even fathomed. I see his face when someone can’t be bothered to invest, when kids don’t want to play with him because he is different or they can’t understand him, when an adult can’t understand him so they kind of ignore him politely, when people stare in the supermarket because he shouts a bit loud or looks a bit different and again they don’t understand him. Kevin and I die a little every time that happens, but Luke’s face???? Nonchalant Cool Hand just turns another page…it’s quite magnificent how he does it. I would be in tears if someone dismissed me like that.
Yesterday we had a play date with Luke’s bestie Charlie at the park, and we happened to meet some older kids from Luke’s school. Do you know what, my heart leaped with joy as I saw these older kids and Charlie just totally embracing Luke for Luke and having belly laughs of fun. He and they explored this crazy world together. I took a moment to take it all in and I realised that these kids just saw Luke, and when you get past that prehistoric thought of Down syndrome you will see what we see…Cool Hand Luke, just playing in the park with his mates. And even better than that, Luke EXPLORING this crazy world with big, huge open eyes.