‘Thank you, dad, at the bounce park, for teaching your child how to interact with others who are different.’ A stranger’s act of generosity and inclusion made her “heart swell,” says the mother of a youngster with Down syndrome.

“To the bounce park’s dad…

I’m not familiar with you, but your son stole the ball that my son, Cedar, was playing with.

Courtesy of Dawn

My son was born with Down Syndrome.

Your kid appeared to be the same age as mine Cedar, but he seemed to be much bigger and more agile. I smiled nicely, and just as I was about to get up to get Cedar another ball (as I had done so many times before in a similar situation), you and your son returned. You didn’t do what every other parent has done: you didn’t return the ball, apologies, and then move on to another game.

No, you brightened my day.

You and your kid sat down next to Cedar and taught your son how to roll the ball back and forth to Cedar. You saw how much my little guy enjoyed it and how doubtful yours was, but you continued to show your son how pleased mine was every time he rolled the ball back to Cedar. I took a seat and observed. You made your son return the ball to Cedar each time he moved it to him. Cedar clapped and laughed. You did as well.

I stood there in awe.

Your wife was nearby with your other children, and we were all watching this excellent example of inclusivity and how to truly set an example for your child in how to behave with someone different. After a while of playing, you realised Cedar’s shoe had come undone, so you carefully retied it and gave him a high five.

I just wanted to let you know how happy you made my heart today. I was ecstatic to learn that there are parents out there who are teaching their average children by example.

Courtesy of Dawn

This didn’t feel like the typical “well, give the ball back to the different small boy and then go on” scenario. This felt authentic and one-of-a-kind.

Thank you for what you did today; I am confident that you will also raise global changers, and I admire parents like you… I only wish I had had the opportunity to thank you before you left.”

Courtesy of Dawn

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