J

May 9, 2010

Joseph.

Please don’t accuse me of favouritism, but Down Syndrome children don’t often get as much love as they should.

Living in a small village has it’s advantages, one of these being that they all know Joseph and therefore adore him.

He was born on 2nd February 1998, and although everyone knew something was wrong at first, it took several weeks to work out he had Down’s.

He doesn’t have it mildly, or strongly, just enough for people to know there’s something not quite usual about him. He can’t speak, but he can do everything that the ‘stereotypical’ children can do; he runs, he plays football, he cooks and bakes, he draws, he writes, he types, he plays, he hugs, he gets dressed himself, he can make a sandwich himself, he can get a drink himself, he can jump on a trampoline, he can swim, he can ride, he can do everything except speak.

It makes me angry trying to explain to people. But sometimes it has to be done. People don’t understand.

In the Easter half term, I took Joseph and Rowanna to the park. When we were there, Joe was pretending to be a dog. He is a brilliant animal mimic, and he often does this. He was just playing.

But two little girls dressed in jeggings and low cut tops with fat bellies (and couldn’t have been older than about eight) came over and stared at him. They just stared. And whispered. And pointed. I was furious.

But because the common thought of the Teenager is that they will mug, rape, beat up, and consequently, murder anyone they even look at, I couldn’t exactly start having a go at these two girls since all the adults in the park would accuse me of trying to kidnap/abuse/etc those girls, I was powerless.

People don’t understand.

Joseph is my little brother, he’s a human, he doesn’t deserve to be stared at, or whispered about. It’s nobody’s fault the gene mutated. It’s not even about fault, it’s just that he doesn’t fit into today’s shitty conventional, stereotypical, robot society, and they isolate him and other’s for that. Well, fuck them.

Who wants a ‘normal’ child anyway?

Normal is boring. Normal means predictable conversation and insensitivity. Normal means looking like everyone else, there’s no variety. Normal is not being open to people, and understanding. Normal is people thinking they’re superior, and thinking they’re right all the time. Normal is not looking at something and seeing it as the most precious thing in the world.

Normal is two fat girls in a park staring at the most unique and wonderful thing ever; a child who has been denied the normality bestowed on the rest of us, and enjoying his life because he know’s it’s the best one.

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