In the past week, Annabelle has talked about (and, I’m guessing, thought about) Down syndrome more than she has in her entire 7 and a half years.
The science fair project is due tomorrow (don’t ask if we’re done — though we are finished with Sophie’s rock collection, entitled “Sophie Rocks”) so I’m guessing the conversation will slow after that.
It doesn’t bother me, but it is a little exhausting.
It’s fascinating, watching her process it. I don’t know how the “final report” will turn out for the science fair, but last night Annabelle worked on a drawing — a family portrait — entitled, “Ahh…the life of…Down Syndrum Sister.”
It depicts the four of us, lined up on a ski slope (Annabelle and Ray went for her first time recently). Annabelle’s saying (I’ve corrected spelling here), “Wow! Steep!”, I’m giving her advice (as I don’t ski): “Keep it steady,” and Ray’s warning, “Be careful.” Sophie’s at the end, clearly about to fall, yelling, “Mom! Dad! Help! Help!”
Here’s the drawing:
I gently suggested it might not be appropriate for the science fair. (What IS appropriate? Annabelle wants to include a picture of Sophie. I think it’s ok if it’s not front and center, but tucked away a bit. We’ll see how things fall out tonight.) So she addressed it to Sophie and left it in her room for her.
This morning at breakfast, Annabelle casually mentioned that a lot of “people” (translation: kids at school) think Sophie is a midget. We talked for a while — she said that didn’t bother her at all — and Annabelle read a new kid book on DS (this was the worst so far — the author purports that Down syndrome occurs when you have “an extra gene”) and then Annabelle looked a little exhausted herself. It was clearly time for a break, and she gave herself one.
She and Sophie started tickling each other, cracking themselves up, and Annabelle had one more comment to make on the heavy subject: “She sure is different but she still is ticklish.”