One night last week,  we were up late watching TV and one of those lawyer ads came on. This one was looking for people who can’t work because they are mentally or physically disabled — talked about compensation from the government. It was one of those ads I don’t process, the stuff that slides off the top of my head.

“Is that ever going to happen to Sophie?” Annabelle asked. I looked up at the TV, then down at Annabelle, who was curled up next to me. Sophie was brushing her teeth.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I hope not. I think Sophie will have a job one day. Don’t you?”

“I do,” Annabelle said, examining her ballet-hardened toes. “I think she’ll be a journalist.”

My inner dialogue:

Um, what the fuck, Annabelle? You know that’s what Daddy and I both do. Does it look easy? Of all the jobs out there, that’s the one you pick, the one you think she could do? What sort of sadistic, insulting comment is that? And while we’re at it, I’ve never heard you say you want to be a journalist, Annabelle. Not good enough for you?

My response:

“Well, yeah, maybe. Um, why do you say that?”

“I don’t know, I just think she’d be good at that. It’s creative. I think she’ll be a writer.”

I mulled it over for several days, not sure what to think — mostly feeling horrified at my reaction — and not hitting publish on this blog post, which is not like me.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. We were driving home from Los Angeles and talk turned to Annabelle’s first car. She’s almost 12, so I suppose it’s time to start planning. Ray insisted she’ll get his gigantic pick up truck. Horrified, she announced, “No way! I’m taking Mommy’s car instead!”

Sophie chimed in, insisting that no, she wanted my car. For a moment I was pleased that they’d argue over my vehicle (a not very exciting crossover) but when the argument persisted, I got confused.

Annabelle was fighting hard, convinced that she, as the eldest, gets the car of her choice. It didn’t seem to occur to her that it’s highly unlikely that Sophie will ever drive.

This morning, another discussion took place in the back seat, this one soft — almost whispered:

Annabelle: “You’re going to have children, right, Sophie?”

Sophie: “Yes.”

Annabelle: “Okay. Well, when we have them, our kids will be cousins, and we have to make sure that they are really close to each other, the way we are to our cousins now. Okay? Promise?”

Sophie promised.

I felt so sad, staring straight ahead at the road. Sophie has even less of a chance of having a kid than she does of driving. Then — without missing a beat — Annabelle informed me that Sophie told her she knows what part of the body babies come out of. I did the mature thing, and turned the radio up really loud. Conversations over.

To be continued. All of it. Of course.

As much as I worry about how the future will impact Sophie, I worry almost as much — today a little more — about how it will affect Annabelle.

Did you enjoy this article?
Share the love
Get updates!
Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome by Amysilverman

2 Responses to ““I think she’ll be a journalist,” Annabelle said.”

  1. sigh…it’s the baby thing that gets to me the most for Abbers. She’s naturally more nurturing than the others and I want her to be able to nurture who she wants- and even though I think of myself as progressive as it comes with this stuff- I get stuck here with babymaking. Then I get stuck with my reaction to it.

  2. The dialogue between the girls is so wonderful. Annabelle seems totally impervious to the idea that her sister is different in any way at all. Anything is possible for Sophie per Annabelle.

    This blog brought tears to my eyes. You are doing a wonderful job, Mom, even if you do have to turn the radio up at times. Blessings to you and your family.

Leave a Reply

My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
Changing Hands Bookstore
. For information about readings and other events, click here.


All content ©Amy Silverman | Site design & integration by New Amsterdam Consulting