“To the Mama in row 19,
I watched you and your husband board the plane with your handsome 20-year-old son who had Down syndrome. My insides freaked out when you sat right in front of me. On a giant plane with hundreds of people…it was meant to be!
Your son kept turning around and playing with my boy. They were holding hands and making faces to each other. You tried to distract your boy from ‘bugging’ the people behind you. But then you turned around and saw my 5-year-old who also has Down syndrome. Your face lit up! You started playing with him from between the seats. Asking basic questions about him in broken English.
Halfway through the flight, my wife brought our 2-year-old to me and we swapped kids. When you saw my ‘baby’ who also has Down syndrome, you couldn’t contain yourself! You played with him through the seats for a matter of minutes before you were standing up with open arms to take him from me. And with zero hesitation, I handed him over.
For over half an hour, I watched as you sang to him, snuggled him, played little games and loved on him. I watched your son stroke my boy’s face and give him many kisses on the cheek. Despite the horrible travel we had prior, and our pure exhaustion, you couldn’t wipe the giant smile off my face for anything!
As I watched your son, my heart soared as I saw my future. And I know as you looked into the almond eyes of my boys, you saw your past.
I would never ever just hand one of my kids off to a complete stranger. But you weren’t a stranger. Despite never knowing you. Despite your broken English and my zero ability to speak Spanish, unless ‘dos cervezas por favor’ counts. You weren’t a stranger. You are family, you are my tribe, you are me.
The connection, the understanding, and the bond we share because of our journeys. It’s one of my favorite things about parenting our amazing sons. The giant family we automatically joined because of 47 perfect chromosomes.
To the Mama in row 19,
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Holly Graham, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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