Jake and Cole are at their weekly gymnastics class (more on gymnastics and inclusion in another post…). It is the middle of the afternoon. I am standing in the waiting area, trying to keep Noah occupied. Noah is only 18 months old, and gymnastics falls smack dab in the middle of nap time, so keeping Noah entertained and happy is a chore! I am simultaneously trying to make sure Noah doesn’t get his hand stuck in the vending machine (which I believe he stole money out of, since I found a quarter in his hand as he was playing!) and trying to keep an eye on the class in an effort to make sure Jake is following instructions and not jumping into the foam pit without supervision (hypothetically speaking of course!). As my brain is firing in ten different directions, I hear a voice behind me:
“Are you Jake’s mom?”
“Yes!” I reply. “How do you know Jake?”
“I am a nurse at the Children’s Hospital, and I remember being his nurse one time when he was admitted. He is such a great kid!”
Jake hasn’t been admitted to the hospital for a year and a half! Talk about leaving a good impression…:)
We arrived at the Children’s Hospital a week ago for a routine overnight sleep study for Jake. We were ushered upstairs with the other sleep study participants, and showed to our room for the evening. Two technicians came into the room together. One introduced herself as the person who would be our technician for the night, and I remembered her from a previous sleep study. The other one just came in to talk to Jake and say hi to him, and I remembered her as being a technician from an even older sleep study. They were both so excited to see Jake, and their comment to me was this:
“We fought over who was going to get to be Jake’s technician tonight”!
This morning Jake had an ultrasound before school. He played happily in the waiting room until it was our turn to go in. As we were following our ultrasound technician into the room, another employee looked at me and said that she recognized Jake, but she couldn’t place from where. I suggested that we had been to the ultrasound place before, and perhaps she had seen him then. As we were coming out of our appointment, she was waiting for us.
“I know!” she exclaimed. “Were you guys at the Ups and Downs Walk this summer?”.
(Ups and Downs is an organization in Calgary that runs events for the Down syndrome community, and every year they do a family 3K run/walk to raise money and awareness.)
I replied that we were at the walk, and she excitedly exclaimed that she too had attended the walk with her little one!
There were hundreds of people at this walk, and this was a family that I was not familiar with. But still…Jake left an impression…
So far in his little life, all of the impressions that I have heard about have been positive. Oh how I hope that this trajectory continues. My prayer for Jake is that his impression comes not through his diagnosis of Down syndrome, but rather through the impact that he makes on the world, and the influence he is on those around him.
I’d love love love to hear what impression Jake has left on you! Comment, message me, email me, or let me know somehow! Maybe I’ll try and compile all the responses into a post…that’d be kinda cool!