“To the dad at the bounce park…
I don’t know you, but your son took off with the ball my son, Cedar, was playing with.
My son has Down Syndrome.
Your son looked to be about the same age as my Cedar, but so much bigger and more agile. I smiled politely and before I got up to go and get Cedar another ball, (as I have done so many times in this situation), you returned with your son. You didn’t do what every other parent has done: return the ball, apologize, and then go play elsewhere.
No, you made my day.
What you did was sit down next to Cedar, with your son, and teach your son to roll the ball back and forth to Cedar. You saw that my little boy loved this so much and yours was unsure, but you kept showing your son how happy mine was each time he rolled the ball back to Cedar. I sat back and watched. Each time that Cedar rolled the ball to your son, you had your son roll it back. Cedar giggled and clapped. You did, too.
I watched in amazement.
Your wife was nearby with your other children and we all watched this beautiful example of not only inclusion, but how to really set an example for your child of how to interact with someone different. After playing for some time, you noticed Cedar’s shoe coming untied and you gently re-tied it and then gave him a high 5.
I want you to know that you made my heart swell today. I love that there are parents out there teaching their typical children by example, and I felt so happy.
This didn’t feel like the typical, oh give the ball back to the little boy who is different and then move on. This felt genuine and special.
Thank you for what you did today, I am sure that you will also be raising world changers and I appreciate parents like you…I only wish I had the chance to thank you before you were gone.”
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