Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God
Matthew 5:8 (NIV)
"Oops, I am messed up."
My daughter is telling me that she forgot to rinse her plate after lunch. It's that am in there that gets me. She inserts those little verbs to be in many of her statements. Usually I find it charming. Today. Not so much.
I don't want her to think she's messed up.
Meet my daughter. She is a 23-year old young woman with Down Syndrome. She recently discovered the Down Syndrome part and insists on telling me at least once a day, if not more. At first, I thought maybe she didn't really understand what she was saying - what having Down Syndrome meant. But she kind of, sort of does. I knew for sure because of an episode on Dancing With the Stars (DWTS) this past spring.
A little background. There are three things you need to understand about my daughter. One - my daughter loves reality TV. She IS every contestant on every show: she chooses her team color on Survivor (before the merge, of course), she sits on the judges panel for American Idol, she renovates and designs for ALL the shows on HGTV - and points out all of the 'issues' in our house (I have chosen to be amused rather than alarmed). Two - she ALWAYS picks the best-looking men on any show and calls them cutie pie. And finally, three - she is an empathy master. She feels the unspoken, the unacknowledged, the unheard.
So, we were watching a get-to-know-the contestant-better clip for James-the-cutie-pie on DWTS. Somewhere in his celebrity life, he had received a video invite to the prom by a young woman with Down Syndrome named Hannah. In the clip, he said he regretfully would not be able to accompany her because he was booked on that date. So instead, he sent Hannah and her mom tickets to see him compete on the show. I don't believe they ever mentioned Down Syndrome in the clip, but my daughter looked at me as we were watching and told me that Hannah had Down Syndrome. Then she proceeded to name everyone else she knew or had ever known who had Down Syndrome. And she had tears right along with mine - tears for the kindness and joy.
I love when things click with her.
So when she said she was messed up, I didn't want that phrase to click. I wanted her to know she is amazing. She is beautiful. I wanted her to know how proud I am of her, and how much she is loved. So I told her. Simple as that. And you know what she did?
She gave me that I-know-what-you-mean look, the old-woman-wise-face, and told me she is a young woman with Down Syndrome. Like, of course you love me and are proud of me - how could you not?
I don't know why I was worried.