On a Sunday afternoon Family Walk at the River Walk by our home.
While on our walk, Olivia, in keeping with her true-self, smiled and waved at fellow walkers. It is nothing for her to see someone at a distance and keep eyeing them and waving until they stop and interact. It is wonderful to see the smiles she puts on so many faces. Just like she puts smiles on our faces! But she likes to keep things at an acquaintance level with strangers. No high fives for strangers. Just talks to them, waves and smiles.
One older couple stopped to talk with Olivia. Olivia is a great conversationalist these days now that she has become a big fan of signing. The older woman, impressed by Olivia's abilities, asked how old she was. 17 months! She said, Wow she does great! Then as she started walking away, I said, Did you realize Olivia has Down syndrome? She stopped, looked surprised, and came back to talk some more. Wow! She said! Typical kids don't even do that! OK... Proud parents please stand up! So we, grinning from ear to ear in total pride, continued our conversation and dispelled the myths about Down syndrome. We wonder if Olivia has a future in politics. She is friendly and loves to kiss babies! And she is so smart! Yes! We are so proud of her!
Olivia uses her signing with me all the time. Especially to tell me what SHE WANTS! And she can be persistent if I am taking a while to do what she wants. She woke up from nap and let me know she was both thirsty and hungry. She lets me know when she is tired. She lets me know when she wants to listen to music. And much more!