Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The Lesson and the Story
So, after what happened yesterday, I sat down with Ricki and had a long discussion with her. The topic is not a new one, but perhaps her willingness to listen was. First we talked about what people value in others, and how true worth comes from one’s actions. Then we talked about bullies, why they act as they do; how belittling others makes them feel strong. We discussed if a bully’s implication of her having less worth is true or not. (At first she shook her head yes, but then realized that the answer was a resounding “NO!”.) Finally at the end we discussed what she is good at, what is harder for her, what Down syndrome is, and the implications for her. (And she didn’t claim to NOT have Down syndrome even once!) We also did role plays about dealing with bullies. As I mentioned before, these topics are not new to Ricki, but she seams to be gaining a better grasp and internalizing the message better. Near the end I mentioned that people with Down syndrome are born with Down syndrome, that they have it from before birth. She queried me about her birth, and I told her the story. I informed her that the doctor had told us right away that she has Down syndrome, and that I had replied that we would love her as she is. [Mind you, sometimes I’m not sure that I haven’t renegaded on that promise at times….but really not. I have always loved Ricki—just not a lot of her actions!] Ricki said with great emotion “Thank you, Mommy” and gave me a huge hug. I was very deeply moved to witness the power and strength that the reassurance that she is loved gave her.