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Sophie Love

posted Friday July 22nd, 2011

“So this is like a blind date?” my sister asked, not entirely kindly, smoothing on another layer of sunscreen.

“No,” I said, adjusting my sun hat a little nervously. “Of course not. That’s ridiculous. Okay, sort of.”

This was embarrassing. One of the completely unexpected things about writing this blog is the friends I’ve made through it. I’m not one for virtual friendship, really; I don’t have enough time to see the brick-and-mortar friends I’ve got here in Phoenix. But Girl in a Party Hat has been a terrific way to create my own little Down syndrome support group at arm’s length — right where I’m comfortable keeping it.

Elaine’s different. She doesn’t have a kid with Down syndrome. The only thing we have in common is that we both have daughters named Sophie. And blogs about those daughters, which is how she stumbled on mine.

Her Sophie is exactly half the age of my Sophie. I’ve written about Elaine before, about what a gift her insights are to me, since I’d always hoped with this blog to reach people who don’t have kids with Down syndrome. People like me, before I had my Sophie.

Elaine is an American Studies professor in Southern California and she’s wicked smart and for years now we’ve sworn that we’ll get together when my extended fam makes our annual trek to the beach. This year it happened; Elaine and Sophie schlepped over and I was honored, particularly since Elaine’s Sophie will soon have a little brother.

After five minutes, my entire family was enchanted by Elaine (including my sister), and the Sophies were fast friends — though my Sophie was, perhaps, a bit quick on the draw (and a little huggy) for her new young friend.

Right away we noticed that the two girls are exactly the same height.

It was a sweet visit, and too soon, it was time to go. Elaine packed up her beach gear, stuck Sophie’s shoes on her feet and they were off, amidst promises that we’d meet next time at Elaine’s favorite taco shop.

I wasn’t surprised that my Sophie spent the rest of the week begging for her new friend, but I wasn’t sure how Elaine’s Sophie felt about the encounter. Apparently, my Sophie made an impression, as well. The day after the visit, I got this note on Facebook from Elaine:

My Sophie is pretending that two of her Lego people have Down Syndrome. At least, I think that’s what she is pretending.

She told me, “They are like Sophie, the Other Sophie from the beach. When they were in their mommy’s tummy, they missed something, and now, even though they’re eight-year-olds, they’re not as big as an eight-year-old. And they really love to hug. And they’re very happy.”

These two Lego people also happen to be astronauts.

Update: Elaine’s lovely post on the same topic.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome by Amysilverman

3 Responses to “Sophie Love”

  1. Awww…. shooting for the stars!

  2. [...] I hope not, because my first impulse was to share this with Other Sophie’s mom, who just blogged about it too. [...]

  3. Too cool. Great serendipity. And to think, I nearly met you all you all in Southern California, too! Our day will come.

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