Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Innocense of Down Syndrome

When I came home from the rehab center where I was being starved to death, my 24 year old daughter Jennifer came to me and put her arms around me and said, "I'm sorry, Mom. I won't do it again."

We all know that young kids often blame themselves for things that happen in the family, but we forget that even older kids can feel responsible, especially if that person has intellectual disabilities.

Jenny is a tiny young woman whose birth parents were from Taiwan and has Down Syndrome and has been in our family since she left the hospital. She works hard at the Habilitation Center and brings home a paycheck high than her father's lately. (His hours have been cut back to like 6 hrs a week.) Brought home a $260 check for the past two weeks a couple days ago.

She's very competent in that she can make her own meals (and often lunch for the whole crew.) But she is innocent to the point where she will probably not be able to get a job in the community any time soon. She's never met a stranger, and her motto is "We Aim To Please." So she'd go with anyone.

But no matter how often I tell her she didn't do anything to cause me to have surgery, she still feels bad. It's not her fault I'm wearing the neck brace. Still every night she creeps into our room before she goes to sleep and comes up on the bed and puts her arms around me and says, "I'm sorry, Mom."

I'm blessed to have her as my daughter. But I sure wish I could clear her conscience.

1 comment:

Tara said...

That is so sweet! She sounds lovely!