The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10012
800-221-4602
info@ndss.org 

Imagine What He Can Achieve
Imagine What He Can Achieve

People who have Down syndrome are great examples as they rise to sporting challenges. They are an inspiration to me as I let my imagination run wild for my own child’s future. It’s winter. The mid day sun is fast approaching and the long walk to the shore has David sweating enough to form a ring around his cap and bead on his brow. Many people are at the dock as he approaches. The beach to his right stretches off into the distance and he notes how the surf gently washes onto a beach filled with more people. On his left, the spray from the pounding of the surf on the rocky outcrop is salting the air adding to a familiar scent he likes. The signpost at the dock indicates the seas are fit and that the fleet of charter boats is cleared to operate for the next several days. In his experience, David has learned the steady and brisk pace and seems to appreciate it for exercise and for the promise of relief from the cooling spray and wind that comes with the boat ride at the end of the walk. At the dock, he pauses to take in as much more as his senses allow. He squints with the sun as he gazes out past the dock and across the sea at the horizon. Determined, he continues on at a more cautious pace out across the dock to the last slip on the right, where he and his buddy are greeted by the captain. He returns the captain’s greeting in kind adding his own warm and inviting smile. Filled with excitement, David steps onto the deck. Several other enthusiasts are already aboard waiting. He introduces himself and is welcomed. He takes a seat on the bench against the starboard side and converses with his buddy while they wait. As the last of the guests arrive the crew finishes loading equipment and the gracious captain boards to address his guests. He provides interesting details about the charter, the destination, and the creatures both common and rare under the sea. David is fascinated and listens intently. He feels more excited than ever and senses the same in his buddy and others. At mid day the boat is underway and soon motoring full speed across the waves. Effortlessly, David reaches behind, over and down. He feels the spray coming off the boats hull and is fulfilled. Smiling, he leans to reach further inadvertently tipping his head just enough for the wind to catch his cap. Several sitting on the port side bench observing are impressed he is able to save his cap, offering him smiles and high five motions above the noise of the motor to celebrate. He gives the same to them in return adjusting his cap and tapping his buddy on the leg for his attention as he does. Anchored, guest and crew alike prepare to enter the water. David is working with his buddy and both are soon ready. He watches as the captain helps all others into the water safely. It is David’s turn but he stops suddenly puzzling over something and growing uncomfortable. His buddy offers him encouragement. The captain knows the magic is in the water and waits patiently to see them safely in together.




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