Saturday, January 20, 2007

Going up the Down's staircase

Apropos the earlier post about the Canadian and U. S. societies of obstetricians and gynecologists calling for more testing for Down's syndrome, Patricia E. Bauer had a piece in the January 14th edition of the Washington Post that is not to be missed.

The article that begins with this:
She was a fresh-faced young woman with a couple of adorable kids, whiling away an hour in the sandbox at the park near my home. So was I, or so I thought. New in town, I had come to the park in hopes of finding some friends for myself and my little ones.

Her eyes flicked over to where my daughter sat, shovel gripped in a tiny fist, and then traveled quickly away. The remark that followed was directed to the woman next to her, but her voice carried clearly across the playground. "Isn't it a shame," she said, an eyebrow cocked in Margaret's direction, "that everyone doesn't get amnio?"
Ends with this:
Plastic shovels no longer captivate Margaret. She's more interested in her school roommates, her part-time job, the Red Sox and, at least recently, wrestling on TV. She knows how to hold an audience and how to bring down the house with a one-liner. And, like most of my relatives, she knows how to be an absolute pill some of the time. Such is life.

That day in the sandbox, I went home and cried. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know whether the woman was right. Today, I know. She was wrong.
Leila over at Off the Record brought it to our attention, and something she said is perhaps the more important thing of all, the mystery hidden in plain view:
It’s a paradoxical truth that suffering brings joy; that our best experiences were not planned by us – we don’t really know what happiness is until we look back.

1 comment:

Mike Saatkamp said...

Readers may want to see George Will's article in this weeks Newsweek magazine about a young man with Downs syndrome and the recent policy assertion by the medical community regarding amniocentesis.