Thursday, October 13, 2011

The People You Meet

31 for 21 Fun Fact: Not everyone you encounter stares at your child because he or she looks 'different'.  In fact, they may be staring because your child is amazingly gorgeous and has cuteness seeping out of every pore. (I am not biased or anything!)

My name is Anna Ellie Bear's Mom.  Somewhere along the way, my identity has evolved.  I am no longer just Anna or the Anna of "Anna & Andrew" or the ever annoying Mame.  Instead, my identity has smooshed with Ellie's.  Everywhere we go, people recognize us.  Or should I say, Ellie.  They recognize Ellie and therefore me, as her mama, by association.  This is a good thing.  I think.  Well, at least most of the encounters are positive.

My daughter is a ham.  She engages everyone with a sassy smile and a high-energy wave.  She waves as though her life depends on it.  Some people are not so thrilled with the ear-shattering scream that may accompany the wave and those people I do not care about.  I chose not to dwell on it.

Nearly every Saturday morning we go to Hoover's Southern Cooking for breakfast taco's and sweet potato pancakes.  We are creatures of habit.  The thing is, they love us, er Ellie.  No, I am not being grandiose or vain.  It is the honest truth.  We walked into the restaurant and from the kitchen I overhead some of the waitresses saying "We love Ellie's family!  They are our favorites".  The waitresses enjoy stopping by our table to talk to Ellie and ask how she is doing.  They certainly are not stopping by to talk to me or Andrew.  This is just one of the places.

Quizno's is another one.  Mmmm mmm mmmm Toasty!  Ellie and I go there at least once a week and typically with my girlfriend Jess and her kiddos.  Actually, I go to two different franchises.  The first one I frequented when I was pregnant.   The manager always offers to babysit sweet Ellie.  At the second one, they have our order memorized and give Ellie free cookies.  FREE COOKIES.  Take a wild guess which Quizno's I am going to be headed to.

The mall. Do you know that I have met so many random strangers at the mall due to Ellie's frantic waving and big smile?  I just tear up when I think of this encounter.  Then there was the time this woman chatted with Ellie and gave her a fruit cup.  Really.  A free fruit cup. Since having Ellie, I have been reminded that while there is some evilness, people can be and ARE good.  I lost sight of that based off of previous life experiences and Ellie has reminded me of human's innate kindness.

Of course there are those parents who stare at approach me because Ellie is climbing the big kid playground like a crazy little banshee.  Or more like a monkey.  Some parents at Safari Champ and The Big Bounce have nicknamed my daughter "Fearless".  Yes, she has a nickname.  From other people. These parents are great conversationalists as I am probably the first adult they had a chance to talk to in hours (-:

Finally, there is our fabulous weekly playgroup.  No, they do not stare because that would be unnerving and rude (if they are staring it is because Ellie such a little fashionista!), but they are our friends who love Ellie for WHO she is and they treat her the same as everyone else.   Our playgroup is filled with so many wonderful ladies and their children and I am fortunate that they play such a big role in our lives.  If not for Ellie, I never would have meet these dear women.  Anyway,  I have been told that sometimes their kids will say something along the lines of "Ellie Bear has one of these" or "Ellie Bear does that" when they are home, outside of playgroup.  My Highlander is also referred to by these young kids as "Ellie Bear's car".  Great, I do not even get possession of my own car.  Yep, it is The Bear's car.

All of these wonderful encounters in various venues as a direct result of "staring" at my darling little Ellie Bear.  All of these encounters with people I never would have met if it wasn't for my precious little girl.

Do they remember us because Ellie is "the one with Down syndrome"?  Or do they remember us because she is joyful, loving, and engaging (and a full-fledged diva)?  I do not know and right now, I do not care for Ellie has touched their lives in a good way.  Plus, I love the free cookies.



  1. Anna, of course, as moms, I think it's kind of true that our kids begin to define us, but aside from Ellie's mom, you are a wonderful friend to us "playgroup moms" and we love having you (not just Ellie) around to chat with, get advice from, etc. Just so you know... 

  2. Love it,I always say my son has taught me more then anyone else I know...and he's only 20 months old!

  3. What a beautiful post, Anna!!! Ellie is gorgeous as always and I so enjoy all of your photos and writing. Hugs!


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