Thursday, April 26, 2007

Off to Florida!

We're all heading to Orlando tomorrow afternoon (that is, assuming David ever gets out of Denver tonight - so far his connecting flight is delayed 2 hours, bringing him into Boston at 2:27 am!). David is speaking at the ASQ Convention on Tuesday, and Micah finally gets to go to Disneyworld.

But the first thing we are going to do is visit T & M and their girls, in Melbourne. I've know M since junior high, we dated briefly in high school, and have remained friends ever since. I went to their wedding in Alabama, and they came to ours in CT (she was 7 months pregnant!). Their oldest girl is about a year older than Sam, their second is a few months younger than Micah. Then I knew that they'd had a 3rd daughter, when they moved to Duluth (after first moving to Texas); this one had "health issues", but I never really found out the specifics, I just knew that she was doing well. T and I would send December cards or give a call once a year. So I called, when I was pregnant with Sofia, for our annual chat. During the conversation, I mentioned that the baby would have Down syndrome, and there was silence on the other end of the line...and then she said "You know our youngest has Down syndrome?" NO! I had no idea!

Since then we're really re-connected, and T and I email pictures and updates regularly. They now live in FL, not too far from Orlando. I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing them...but I'm also nervous. I know that their daughter has different issues than Sofia, and I don't want them to be upset by Sofia doing something that their daughter hasn't yet done (ambigous "something", I don't have anything specific in mind).

I have learned to be this nervous from past experiences with other families of children with DS. Fortunately, these are my friends, and I know that, like my other friends, they will just be happy for my little girl. But I've had two really bad experiences with other families: At our first EI playgroup last summer, there was another little boy with DS. The mom took one look at Sofia, and burst into tears. I heard her vehemnt conversation (in Portuguese, but clear gesturing for all to observe) with the OT - "Why isn't my son doing this? What am I doing wrong?"). Then, this past March, I went to our first Etgar L'Noar Tot program. D was there with B, which was nice (and since he's 2.5 years older than Sofia, there's really no way to compare them even if we wanted to), but there was also another child with DS, about a year older than Sofia, with very low muscle tone. The dad watched Sofia happily playing with the toy castle (and standing up to reach the third teir), and you could just see his face drop. He was comparing.

I feel bad for making these people feel bad. I do not apologize for my daughter (heck no - I'm SOOO proud of her, but everything she does is because of HER distinct personality and unique combination of physical abilities). But I feel bad because these people have not yet realized that every child is different, and that their kids WILL eventually do what they are meant to do, but at their own pace. And I hate seeing other people look at Sofia sadly. She is so not about sadness (oh, unless you see her new talent, the "Pout Wind-Up to Crying"). She is a joy, and it pains me when seeing her does not bring joy to others.

So I hope to heck that this visit will be smooth, and that, since we ARE friends, they will also recognize the individuality of all our kids.

I'm also somewhat stressing about Disney, but I think it'll be ok. We've traveled enough with Micah to handle his allergies, and supposedly Disney is good about showing menus and ingredient lists if asked. Sam's a nervous wreck right now about air travel (he gets worked up about airport security, it frightens him a lot), so he's not even thinking about our destination. Micah is calm (well, for Micah); he's just planning to "Shake Hands with Goofy". And Sofia's had an upset stomach for 2 days, and was spitting up alot today, so I hope she's not coming down with something too!

Ru and I ended up going to the mall this morning after my hair appointment (we were already so late for the class I was supposed to take at MWJDS). I got some nice clothing at Chicos, and a new bathing suit.

Now I've gotta go pack! And since David isn't back yet, I can't get the giant suitcase from the attic (I can't reach the door in the ceiling). So I have to figure out another option. And if he has to go direct from Denver to Orlando, I'll have to pack for him, too. Oy.


Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

Have a great trip to bad not heading our way!! But the chefs in Disney are great with allergies...when you go to the restaurants make sure you explain the situation. And they will come out and talk to you!!


FBF Rothkopf said...

Thanks, Dori. I wish we had a chance to come down to your area, too! But this is a short trip (coming back Wednesday). We'll be back, I promise.

amy flege said...

oh have a great time!! ! i cant wait to here and see all about it!!!!