Is Elias More Special Than I Am?

I was sitting at a stop light when my oldest son asked me a question. I was surprised by what he asked, but eager to answer him and put his mind at ease. "Mom, is Elias more special than I am?" He was looking down at the home video Elias was watching on the iPad. It was a video I made a few years ago to share during Down syndrome awareness month. I made it to show people that Elias is loved by our family, no matter what his differences are.

I looked back in my rear view mirror, "Now way! You are just as special as your brother. We love you both the same!"

I went on to explain the video and the reason I made it…and tried not to cry. "Vitali, did you know that some people don't value your brother like you do? Some people don't know that Elias loves to play with you and Pia. He loves animals and going to school. That he loves a good piece of pizza and a tasty bowl of ice cream. Some people don't realize how much Elias loves his life."

"Why don't they know?" He asked.

"Maybe because he looks a little different and sometimes acts differently than other kids…maybe they are nervous, or a little afraid to be his friend. Are you afraid to be his friend?" 

"No way, he's just Elias!" 

"I made that video of Elias because it's important for others to know that he is a lot like you and me. We all want to be loved."

Our conversation moved to other people who might look and act differently. We talked about people that we might be nervous around, but agreed that they want to be loved too—no matter what.

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© 2014 Natalie Falls