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Store clerk shows kindness to a mom and her daughter with Down syndrome
February 14, 2017
For most people, finding out that you are having a child with a disability can be rough. Suzie Skougard decided to take the news that she was pregnant with a child who would have Down Syndrome in stride. During her pregnancy, according to a Facebook post, she wanted to see what her child’s life might be like. When she met Sydney Taylor, she knew that her child would be alright. Taylor has Down Syndrome. She works as a grocery bagger at Ralphs, a supermarket chain.
Skougard said in the Facebook post that while she was pregnant, she would go out of her way to let Taylor bag up her groceries. When Skougard gave birth, she named her daughter Carly. One day while Skougard and Carly were at Ralphs and Taylor was bagging their groceries, Taylor noticed that Carly has Down Syndrome. Taylor then went over and hugged the little girl, who was 6-months-old at the time. As Skougard and her daughter were leaving the grocery store, Taylor asked Skougard if Carly knew any sign language. Skougard said that Carly knew a little sign language. Taylor took the opportunity to try to teach Carly a new sign, the sign for “I love you.”
Skougard took a picture of Taylor interacting with Carly and posted it on Facebook along with a note. The note reminded people not to judge a book by its cover and treat all people, whether disabled or not, with respect.
Skougard's Facebook post is transcribed below:
By the time I took the picture Carly had gotten upset, (it was past time for milk and nap was interrupted) but I still took this picture, because when exchanges like this happen, they are my favorite moments in the world. This woman works at our local grocery store, I always pick her checkout lane. Even back when I was pregnant-- I chose hers, even when the line was longer. When I was pregnant, I'd talk to her in the few minutes I had. I wanted to knew what Down syndrome would mean for my daughter as she got older. What would her life be like? Would she be anything like this woman?
I never mentioned that Carly had Down syndrome until one day out of the blue when Carly was around 6 months old, she wrapped her arms around her and said "she has Down syndrome."
"She sure does," I said.
Today as we were leaving the store, she said, "I have Down syndrome like her, and I have a big heart."
"You definitely do have a big heart." I replied.
"Does she know sign language?" She asked as she pointed in Carly's direction.
"She knows a few signs!"
"When I was a baby I did this one (she signs more) and this one. (She signs please.)"
"Yes! Carly knows those ones!"
"I also know one more for her, I can teach her!" And she signed 'I love you.'
I interacted with a lot of people at the grocery store. There was a woman who scolded me for not having shoes on Carly on a cold day, (she kicked them off), a clerk who was less than interested in helping me find an item, and an impatient person that shoved past because we were following behind an elderly gentleman that was moving slowly when they were in a hurry.
Some people feel like people with Down syndrome don't contribute anything meaningful to society, but amidst all the Grinches today, she stood apart. And just being her, she gave us an amazing gift. A smile.