The season two premier of Born this Way will be tomorrow, Tuesday, July 26th (10/9c) on A&E network. Watch the season 2 trailer HERE.
Most of us know someone who has Down Syndrome, or at least know of someone. And most of us, until we really get to know them for the lovable person that each of them, created in God's image is, are a little nervous about being around them. And then we come to love their smiles, their antics and the generally upbeat way they have of looking at life and the people around them.
When we were pregnant with our son, the geneticist encouraged us, because of our age, to have all sorts of tests done. In the end we opted to not do any of them, because after all, what difference would it make? But the ‘threat’ was there: you’re at risk, what if there is a problem with this child? Don’t you want to know early enough to do something about it? But the days of locking away in the attic anyone who is slightly different are gone, and we said no. Several months later our son was born without any of the conditions that older parents, according to the experts, should be worried about.
Fast forward a few years, and our son is taking a martial arts class. One day there was a new student. According to her aunt, she is high-functioning, but still has issues. And issues she may have, but she also has a smile as wide as you can imagine, and a heart as big as all outdoors. She still, after 7 or 8 years hasn’t learned, or won’t learn to tie the belt to her karate uniform, (she prefers to tie it in a bow), and she gets a little lazy at times when it comes to the warm-up exercises. But start collecting canned food for a food pantry, and she gets everyone in the family to contribute…and remembers the next year that it should be time to start collecting again.
But beyond that, she’s a typical teenager, and has been for the past 20 years. She has dreams and goals, she likes certain singers, movies and TV shows. She has her favorite foods, and knows what she likes. In other words, she’s much like the group of friends from Born this Way.
The show follows a group of friends, and their parents, through a variety of situations, planning for trips and outings (and having to encourage them to hurry up and get ready) to discussions about dating and how sometimes we need to work for the things we want. It’s funny to notice where something has been censored, but often the filters that society deems necessary for polite company are missing. Sometimes I wished we all were missing those filters…at least you would know what people are really thinking).
It’s obviously not all joy when it comes to Down Syndrome—there are certainly causes for concern, when someone you love doesn’t function at the same capacity as the majority of society, so A&E is doing us all a favor with this show that points out some of the joys and challenges of Down’s kids and their families. Besides giving us a peek at the reality that Down’s families live every day, we all learn to see the disadvantaged in a new light: a light that says “I want to be loved, I want to be accepted, I want to be included, and oh by the way, I want to be your friend, and what an amazing friend I can be.