Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Freak Show adds Down syndrome

We have six children. It doesn't seem like a lot to me (most of the time), but it's obvious that six is a lot to other people. Don't get me wrong, for the most part, our children are well-behaved, respectful, and delightful...but, they are definitely children and act like such most of the time. We now drive a 15-passenger (former daycare) van and have the stick figure family decal on the back with mom and dad, three girls, three boys, a dog, and a cat. They didn't offer turtle or guinea pig stickers or we would have those, too. When we go places together, people notice.

We get stared at. The looks we get range from the mildly curious to the outright hostile. Sometimes, genuine smiles of encouragement are thrown in, as well. The comments we receive vary, too. From "You sure have your hands full" (my heart is full, too) to, my personal favorite, "Don't you know what causes that?" (yes, and obviously we're quite good at it. I notice you only have two kids. Would you like some pointers?) My point is that we look like a freak show when we go out.

Now that Eon is getting older (he's SIX MONTHS already!), I notice more people staring at him, as well. I'm not sure if they are trying to decide if something's wrong with him or if they are recognizing the Ds. Either way, they can't help but interact with him because he is so cute and thoroughly charms everyone he meets. It amuses me because I think he's beginning to deflect some of the attention we receive because of the size of our family. People seem to notice our numbers first, and then catch sight of him and forget to react about our size. Down syndrome is down playing the freak show that is our life. Gotta love that!


  1. Hi Tara--Well I only have four as of now and i get those comments also. I haven't noticed Yusef getting any "stares" yet but I know that day will come. WE already get attention for the fact that I wear a headscarg and more traditional type clothing. Unfortunately, both large family sizes and Down syndrome are two things that society is not very accepting of. I don't know, if it were me and I saw your family or my own, I'd think to myself "Wow. What and awesome family and an even more awesome mom!". Hey BTW, I don't know if you noticed but I started a seperate blog specifically about Yusef and DS, as my other one is more of a general blog. This is the address http://muslimmamadsblog.blogspot.com. Or there's also a link on Muslim Mama. Love ya sweetie :)

  2. Wow, I can relate on just about everything here, right down to the stick family decals on the back of my truck portraying our 3 girls and 3 boys! We get all those comments too. Sigh.

  3. I have to say... I am one of those who stare at you (and Lisa) with your six kids... but not in a bad way. No, I stare in envy and awe.

  4. I have been reading through your blog for an hr now...I just LOVE it! This post in particular made me smile...I have seven kids and we get the "stares" ALL the time!
    I just wanted to say this blog has touched me in so many ways. I love how you write and I find I have felt or thought so many of the same things. My son is just seven months old, so I am still trying to find my way in all this. I am thankful for blogs like yours...without them I would feel so lost.