General Non-Fiction posted November 13, 2019

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My son had never met anyone with Down Syndrome.

Who Is THAT?

by Therese Caron

Parenthood: An indelible memory Contest Winner 

My son was always a kind, loving child. He is grown now, but I have a vivid memory of a lesson learned when he was nine years old.

He came home from school one day and was describing a classmate as a "stupid retard." I explained that this was a derogatory remark, and also insulting to mentally challenged people. His excuse was that everyone says it, and I informed him that I did not want to hear it again.

Several days later we were shopping at Sam's Club. A young girl and her mother were behind us in line. The girl obviously had Down Syndrome, and started chatting with me. She was warm and friendly, and we discussed the snowstorm beginning outside. My son stood there, silent.

After we finished checking out, the girl put her arms around me and told me she loved me. I told her I loved her, too. Her mother smiled at me, and we left the store. My son still had not said a word.

We were in the car a few minutes when he suddenly blurted out, "Who was THAT?"

I replied, "Oh, that was just a stupid retard."

He answered, "But she was so nice."

I smiled and said, "Exactly."

He grinned back at me, and I never heard those hurtful words from him again.

Writing Prompt
Describe a memory, a lesson taught or learned, or a moment shared that will stay with both parent and child forever.

Prose only. No minimum or maximun word count.

Parenthood: An indelible memory
Contest Winner
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by VMarguarite at

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