Passing notes

One of the truths associated with Down syndrome is that people who carry that third copy of the 21st chromosome are more alike the rest of us than they are different.  I learned this early on.  As I watched my baby girl grow and develop, I marveled at just how typical she really was.  Is.  It’s a realization I’m getting a fresh glimpse of as she tiptoes into her teens.

By no means am I trying to say that my Cassie girl is totally typical.  This time represents a strange slice of her life–like she has one foot on either side of an invisible threshold.  Her favorite TV show, for instance, is Doc McStuffins, an animated preschool series.  Yet, every day, she sits in class with and eats lunch across from 8th grade peers filled with raging hormones and emotions that rocket off the charts.  It’s a tough place for any girl to be, I imagine.

She has her own way of expressing her very natural and very normal teenage tendencies.  The other day, she came home with a not-so-good note from the para.  During her school day, Cassie had downright refused to work.  She did not participate in class.  She did not complete her assignments.  She, for all intents and purposes, did not show up to school that day.  I remember having several days like that when I was in school.  The only difference, of course, was that I didn’t have someone following me around all the day long, making notes to send home to my mom. {Thank you, Jesus}.

The normal procedure is that Cassie’s bad days result in a loss of privileges at home (TV time, dessert, etc).  This she knows, and so she spends her time on the bus each afternoon reading what the para has reported.  I can tell by the way she holds her backpack as she gets off the bus whether or not the day was a good one.  The day in question was anything but good.

Cassidy, in her own grown up way, tried to combat the naughty note with a note of her own.


Dear Mom,

I’m so sorry for having a bad afternoon.  I only had 18 minutes. (iPad reward time at school).  I shouldn’t lose dessert and 30 minutes (TV time) for reals.  Yes or no? 

I can’t fault the kid for trying.

PS. No

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