MUSICAL and LOVING aren't they?

A post to dispel myth and challenge stereotype through a family tale, an amusing anecdote, so let's take a light-hearted look at one of the first things most people say when they meet someone who has a family member with Down's Syndrome... 

"Oh, I hear they are so loving, and very musical too." 

Firstly I have to say that I never roll my eyes, or even inwardly tut, when people say things that bely their limited knowledge of Down's syndrome.  That was probably me once. I too didn't know it was a 'baby with Down's', not 'a Down's baby' before I began on this journey.  If people's intentions are kind and they have taken time to come and talk to us, then we shall be ambassadors and leave them with a positive image of the people they met. 

But yes, I have heard that before, and I am putting a penny in a jar every time I hear it. One day we will go First Class to Bermuda on the contents of that jar ;)

Natty hugs a poster of a crying baby

Show me any child in the land, and I will show you a child who loves music.  And I bet that same child will like hugs and cuddles too... You see, children with Down's syndrome are like any other, they love music, they love to be loved, but they also experience emotions of furious feistiness, independence, sadness, worry, happiness, excitement, fear, fun and enormous frustration.  
Just guessed it...the rest of us. 

What I will say about our youngest daughter though, is that she has the amazing ability to live instinctively and exactly in the moment.  If she has upset you, she will be filled with sorrow. If you have annoyed her, she will hate you.  If she feels your pain, she will comfort you.  If she instinctively meets a good person, even for the first time, she will ask for a hug.  

And if she feels like a darn good singsong, she will have one, wherever and whenever that may be.
Even if it is, as it was this very night, at 2am.  Those wee small hours when singing is generally the last thing on ones mind (well, not since my dim and distant youth when I may have still been in some club or other).  
I awoke abruptly to the sound of slamming wardrobe doors.  What on earth?  

I stumbled, bleary-eyed into her room where I found her sitting bolt upright in the lotus position she favours so much, on her bedroom floor.  She had got herself fully dressed in a party frock.  Or was it her sister's full length night gown? I was too tired to notice.
All the bedroom lights were blazing, her spotlights presumably, and the little darling was singing Christmas carols at the very top of her voice, lapping up the adulation of various teddies!  

At that precise pitch black deep sleep moment in time none of us were really in the mood for a rendition of Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly...and 2 minutes later, she was tucked up in bed in her pjs, kissed and left snoring soundly.  

That moment had passed.  
And she was living another...


  1. A Beautifully written piece. Keep up the good work as writing is good for the soul. =)

  2. A beautiful song just has to be sung where ever when ever and to who ever (Jeanette Lisseman)who loves beautiful songs xxxx

  3. Hayley, you have the wonderful and enviable ability to be able to express your heartfelt thoughts and feelings so passionately.
    Loved this piece, and so, so true.

  4. Love it! Thank you for sharing it on my Facebook page!

  5. I have just stumbled across your blog from the Frugi page and have just spent the best part of an hour reading about your daughter. I just felt compelled to write something so here goes. You write beautifully (some experience in this field!). Your girls sound adorable and you sound like a really lovely mummy. Thank you for opening my eyes. A beautiful blog!

  6. That's so very kind of you. Thank you all for showing your support.

  7. Love this post - because, and I am no expert in DS - a diagnosis of Down's means different things for each child, in the same way that a diagnosis of autism means different things for every child with autism. This kind of awareness raising is a vitally important contribution. xx


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