Sometimes different people will ask if they can hold Charlie, and I get excited. Passing Charlie into the arms of another is to give them a wonderful gift. Charlie gives tender, cuddly hugs. Part of it is his low muscle tone. He has a way of completely relaxing every muscle in his body, draping himself over you like a warm blanket. Part of it is he feels a little shy in the arms of other folks, but instead of pushing away, he settles in and huddles ever so closely. And part of it is his Down Syndrome. It is something that makes him unique, mysterious, attractive. It unnerves people. Here is this precious boy who is a little bit different, and he exudes such tenderness. Every child has a special gift to offer. I really believe that, and can see it in the captivating eyes of my younger "typical" son. For Charlie, it is his hugs. It is therapy of the most gentle and loving sort. A gift.
Case in point. Charlie, 8 months old.