Romantic relationships can be difficult, for parents.
Unfortunately, the object of your affection doesn’t always love you back, as Charley found out. “Jamie got boyfwent,” he announced one day while watching a movie. “Dat guy cherk.”
Welcome to the world of love hurts.
“Maybe you should find a different girlfriend,” I said. What I meant was, why don’t you find a girlfriend like you? Someone with Down syndrome. Someone you have a prayer of dating.
But Charley won’t date anyone who has DS. He’s afraid he’s going to catch it. I said to him once, “You know, Charley, there’s nothing wrong with having Down syndrome. You have DS, and there’s nothing wrong with you.”
“Not me,” he said.
One of the baffling things about Charley is that on one hand, he doesn’t ever think he’s not good enough. On the other hand, he denies his DS.
Both Brad and I have told him, “Having Down syndrome just adds to who you are.”
And he says, “Yep, I are.”
He’s good friends with some of his classmates who have DS. Just don’t suggest that he ask them out. It’s not happening. Pp. 302 – 303
Has your child had a crush on someone that didn’t return his/her feelings? How did you navigate your child’s first broken heart?
Does your child acknowledge his/her Down syndrome?
Prom has become a rite of passage for high school students. It’s one of the events of life that everyone remembers and talks about for years to come. Many students with special needs either don’t attend prom, or go with “surrogate” dates: friends who want to help make the evening special for someone, but have no romantic interest in that person. Charley’s friend, Jordan, shared her evening with him.
We turn for one last wave goodbye. I think about what a good job Jordan’s parents have done in raising her, and what a role model she and Austin are for others, sharing their date with Charley like that.
Who does that? Who shops for a gown and gets all gussied up to spend the evening with a special needs person? Who sits in the front seat while another guy sits in the back with his girlfriend. I’ll tell you who.
Someone who knows a boy may be different, but he’s worth the fancy footwork.
Someone who, by way of peer tutoring, sees past the disability.
Someone who is man enough allow another boy to be a man.
Someone who bridges the schism for a boy who might otherwise sit home on this once-in-a-lifetime night.
Someone who’s willing to bend so a young man can stand tall. P. 327
Did your child attend his/her prom? Did he/she go with a “real” date, or with a friend?