Having been a minority for most of my life, I am the gal you want to have around if you are looking to connect with someone with whom I have a minority connection with. I have absolutely no shyness, no shame: I will pounce on ANYONE that I see walking in the street with a hearing aid or anyone that I see signing. I will also rush forward with anyone with Down syndrome.
I’ve been on the lookout, believe you me, since we’ve been in Baja. I have seen precious few people from the respective deaf/Ds tribes and I’ve been feeling bummed out about it. It’s just like…. where is everyone?!!!
Anyway, so last night we were walking down the street and Mikey saw a young lady with Down syndrome and told me so. I naturally rushed forward, gleeful: ‘hola! hello! hola!’ – smiling and addressing the girl and her mother and brother. Mikey stepped forward to translate (what a great sport; I’ve *got* to work on my Spanish).
The gist of it all: we were thrilled, THRILLED to be seeing and meeting someone with Down syndrome here. THRILLED. Yes, that needs to be in bold and caps because it was a joy-rush, all right. But the mother of the girl was not thrilled to be meeting us. In fact, after only a couple of minutes and despite that they had been sitting in a bus stop when we first saw them, she excused them all and walked into a store behind us. I wouldn’t exactly say they were running away from us, but um… it was pretty close.
I don’t know why.
Could be that the mom isn’t into having strangers acting like second family? Or that she doesn’t want to talk about Down syndrome?
We introduced Moxie, “she has Down syndrome too!!!!!!!” and the mom was like, “that’s nice” in a tone so flat it could compete with a straight line.
At least we have met someone with Down syndrome here; I’m really hoping we will connect with more people. I’ve emailed every organization that I can find in Mexico related to Down syndrome with an offer to volunteer/connect – IN SPANISH AND MORE THAN ONCE – and we haven’t heard back from anyone.
I might just have to show up on their door step and that’s okay. At least, I hope it’ll be okay. I hope they won’t try and run away too 🙂
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.