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Salad Days

posted Monday September 16th, 2013

More and more, these days, I find myself thinking about salad. Not that kind of salad. I’m actually about to make a meatloaf this evening.

The Salad Days. I’ve written about them several times before — prematurely, sort of like how I decided to have my midlife crisis at 38.

But now they are upon us, these goddamned Salad Days. The puberty specialist said as much. In no uncertain terms, at last week’s seminar, she made it clear that once the kids hit junior high, the typical kids don’t want to hang out with them. At all.

I was surprised by how insistent she was, how matter-of-fact. Find your sons and daughters other disabled kids to hang out with, she said.

Yeah, okay, I’ll put that on the “to do” list alongside visiting the orthodontist and finding a good school: Disabled friends.

My down to earth husband wasn’t phased when it came up at the puberty workshop.

“I’ve been telling you that forever,” Ray said afterward. It’s true. He warns me often that these are the best days, the days Sophie’s considered cute — and not a pain in the butt. The days when she can just about keep up, when she still has friends.

Not a ton of friends, no, and of course I see the differences between Sophie and her peers, I see them more and more. I know it’s coming. I just couldn’t believe that woman said it, like ripping off a BandAid. I guess she figured it was better coming from her, that she was doing everyone in the room a favor. But now I’m on the lookout for it. Even more than I was already.

Last Friday night, I dropped Sophie off for a sleepover at her best friend Sarah’s house, and standing there, waiting for someone to answer the door, tortured myself by imagining a day when Sarah has other plans.

The door opened and Sophie slipped inside, happy to see her “B,” as the two say. (Shortened from BFF.) Sarah was all smiles, too. I sighed as I closed the door behind me and drove away.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome by Amysilverman

One Response to “Salad Days”

  1. Ugh. I hate that it’s a given. I hate that I hate it. I don’t know what to say. The thought is just infinitely sad. We have a lot of “group” family friends right now- but over this past year I’ve seen that fading. Ugh.

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