Tuesday, August 17, 2010
A Down Syndrome Disney
We have had the pleasure of going a couple times the last few years but about a little more than a year ago we took the boys (Joaquin's first trip to Disney) and we were so surprised not to see even one baby, child, teen or adult with DS our entire trip. And I was looking! I remember at the time wanting to see a familiar "face" at Disneyland.
I am happy to report that this trip was quite the opposite. So much so that by the end of the trip when we were in the lobby of our hotel and a teenage boy stopped to say hello and we saw that he too had DS, my mom and I were just laughing about it! We saw a few babies, several toddlers and kids, a TON of teenagers, and one adult woman with DS escorted by her niece. I also had the HUGE pleasure of meeting some of my SoCal sisters and blogging friends Denise, Cheri and Lisa and their amazing kiddos!
It seemed that everywhere we turned, we would see another family touched by DS. I was especially touched by one older teenage boy who was there with his family. I saw him kiss and hug his mom and grandma at least a dozen times in the 5-10 minutes I was watching them. I can totally see Joaquin being like this. He is SUCH a love bug. Then the other group that totally had us smiling was a group of about 5 teenage girls. They were there with their moms and the group of them have been friends since the girls were 2 years old and met through an Early Intervention program. They were celebrating their graduation from middle school and decided that Disneyland was the place to do that. The girls were a hoot and they loved Joaquin and Sofia. I had a great conversation with the moms too! In fact, two of the five girls were adopted by one of the moms. Amazing!
It was a LOVELY experience and so completely different from our last trip. This is how I imagined Disneyland to be...people from all backgrounds and abilities enjoying the happiest place on Earth!
By the way, Joaquin did great at Disney. His favorite by far was It's a Small World! He ADORED Mickey. Not at all afraid of him and was totally curious about his "nose", "eyes" and "ears"! Mickey spent a little extra time with our family which was really nice.
We LOVE Disneyland!