a party in the park


We had a birthday party today.  A party in the park.

The birthday boy is not a fan of family get-togethers.  He is not a fan of birthday cake.  In fact most things we expect don’t apply to this birthday boy.  Like presents.  They just irritate him.  Like a rousing version of “Happy Birthday”.  All of us singing at him he finds daunting.  Like going to the toilet. He is still in nappies.  Like talking.  His words like berries on a bush not yet in season.

We had a birthday party today.  A party in the park.

The birthday boy is one of a kind.  He is as cute and irritating as any – but that’s not it. He is as loving and angry as any – but that’s not it either.  He is not Downs – even though that is part of who he is.  He is not Autistic – even though he is on the scale.  He is not textbook – even though many have been read in trying to understand him.  He is who he is – and we each have had to learn that.

We had a birthday party today.  A party in the park.

His brothers are not Normal – even though that is part of who they are.  His parents are not Special – even though many call them that.  His family is not Wonderfully Supportive – even though they can be so often.  When it comes to describing the birthday boy – adjectives and nouns don’t do it – even though they are all I have right now.  I will try to use them carefully so you might understand …

should you next see a poor downs child when you’re out and about,
with downs’ eyes unseeing and that downs’ mind which excludes,
think before saying “they’re all so loving” to the poor downs’ mum.

her weary restraint and quick smile in reply are words left unpicked
for your eyes unseeing and your mind which excludes
because your chosen adjectives and nouns just told her …

you don’t know jack shit.

We had a birthday party today.  A party in the park.

what do you see?

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