Sunday, 20 September 2015
I'm bored. Bored of Google News alerts that tell me that it's amazing that people with Down's are doing ordinary things. I'm looking forward to a day when my alert feed doesn't tell me about a model who has Down's, because it's become the norm. The same goes for people with the condition going to college, working and doing other so-called normal activities. Ask Stan's brother or his cousins or the kids that went to his primary school. They're just used to having him around and let's hope the rest of society catches up really quickly.
But there's work to be done. Recently Stan's started doing length swimming at the pool. A parent's dream because I can imagine him at the Special Olympics and I can be Down's 'competitive dad', like the character from the Fast Show. OK, he swims a length, gets out, runs down the side of the pool, gets told off by the staff member who's looking increasingly worried, belly-flops into the pool and swims the same length. Today he had a friend (who has Down's) and two other friends from his primary school, and we were all swimming lengths, with Stan. All very normal.
If he wins a medal at the Special Olympics, I don't expect to see it on my alert feed because it's special but it should be very normal, if you know what I mean. And that would be very boring. It's much better to be Competitive Down's Dad, pacing up and down the side of the pool, screaming instructions. OK. I don't do that. We're very much at the 'doggy-paddle to front crawl' stage of the metamorphosis. But today there were no high-fives for finishing a length; just a normal feeling for a dad who wants to see his son win a race - or just take part - one day soon.
Posted by Steve Palmer at 10:20