Our children are the most precious and special people in our lives – the apples of our eye; which is why, when someone slights them, it can hit us doubly hard.
This was recently the case for mum Pam De Almeida, after finding her 18-month-old daughter Sophia – who has Down syndrome – on the receiving end of ‘stares and whispers’ at a coffee shop.
“This is a pretty frequent occurrence for us, you see; because my daughter Sophia was born with Down syndrome. I sat there and watched these two women crane their necks to get a better look at her; completely oblivious to the fact that I was staring right back. Today it bothered me. It really bothered me,” she explained.
When another couple approached their table, Pam was nervous that there would be yet more whispering and stares, but she was pleasantly surprised by what happened next.
A man with tears in his eyes gave Sophia a high-five and a handshake, and recalled a story he recently heard, which went on to hit Pam just as hard as it did him.
“He told me that he had watched the news last night. There was an interview of a mother who had recently given birth to a child with a major disability. She was on the news defending her decision to keep her baby. She was defending her choice NOT to terminate despite her doctors encouraging her to do so. He said, ‘The point is, you never know a person's impact on the world. You can never know what a person is able to do unless you give them a chance,’” she recalled.
The man then went about his business – after calling Sophia ‘beautiful’ and congratulating Pam on her daughter.
While anyone would be pleased by such a compliment, this man’s parting words meant so much more to Pam – for the most heart-wrenching reason.
“That man was the first complete stranger to ever congratulate me on the birth of my daughter Sophia. He was the first complete stranger to recognise her WORTH. Her VALUE. Her BEAUTY,” she explained.
It’s not hard to see why Pam’s post, which was shared on the Slice of Life Facebook page, has gone viral – every mother and child needs to hear these kind and important words in their lives.