Anyway. We hit Sam's Club, McDonald's, the park, Target, and the dollar ice cream stand. We had actual things to do, and I threw in McD's, the park, and ice cream in for funsies because I felt bad that the kids' spring break was filled with doctor appointments and my things-to-do list.
We took Happy Meals to the park, the kids ate and began monkeying around on the playground equipment. Ian was all over the place. And so was Chase. We started on the toddler playground, since it is fenced and I could finish feeding Gavin while they played without the fear of Chase running away.
Then Ian brought up a really good point ("Mom, it's not fair that I can't go on the big slides.") and we headed over to the giant play area. I figured that Chase would kind of wander around, perhaps climb some stairs, and probably go down the smaller slides. We get there, and I should have known...Monkey see, Monkey do. Chase follows Ian all the way to the top of the biggest slide out there (think: those super-fast straight slides at the water park. Ok, it wasn't THAT tall, but I imagine that to Chase that is what it looked like.)
And do you know what he did? He sat down and launched himself right down, smiling (almost, except for that split second of what-the-hell-did-I-just-do?! look of sheer panic) the whole way.
Then he did it again 4 more times. And once he climbed up the completely vertical ladder to get to the top instead of using the stairs.
Everyone at the park was watching him. I don't know if it was because of his complete joy of being allowed to be a big boy, or because they were terrified for him. But I realized that there was a time when I didn't want people to look at him. I wanted to protect him from the stares and the questions, and I would take complete offense to the questioning looks. I thought every person looking at him was either pitying me or him.
But it is very different now, and I didn't really realize it until Bryan and I were talking to some new parents over dinner the other night. Now I delight in other peoples' stares...because I believe usually they are in awe over what my little man can do. I want him to show off. I love that Bryan lets him ride on top of his shoulders and that he says hi! everyone from his perch. I love that he climbs to the top of the slide and waves from the top. I love that other people underestimate him and then get proved wrong.
I feel like every person that he passes and waves to may be the next person who chooses or knows someone who will chose to keep their unborn baby with Ds.
He is just such a little rock star, and I am so SO proud to be his mom. :)