I've been thinking about Blanche, one of the tragic characters in Williams' Streetcar Named Desire, a lot lately as Jared continues to embark on this journey towards adulthood. You see, Blanche, on a few occasions throughout the play, states in that simpering voice of hers, "I always depend on the kindness of strangers". I think about this as Jared and we continue to craft for him a life that can exist without the daily management of us, his parents. Because, much as I would like to believe I will grace this earth forever, this is not true, and Jared needs to be in a world where he can depend on the kindness of strangers. I lack trust. We parents of kids with Down Syndrome have had a lot of disappointments and set backs raising these kids, and it makes us a little pessimistic; ok, it makes ME a little pessimistic. Why am I always surprised when people are nice to Jared? I seem to be always waiting for the proverbial second shoe to drop. So when things work out, and the world is kind, it still catches me by surprise. Take the people at Great Northern Pizza. I think they really want Jared to succeed! They have told him he is one of the managers now. And I can't think they are getting something out of this other than a young man who will work harder for them than any other employee there. Jared recently told me that, "Great Northern Pizza is my life! I love EVERY day that I work there!" I'm so happy for him when he says that. The kindness of strangers, now turned bosses, now turned friends, still surprises me every day. So, I think over the next few posts, I will be examining this kindness, because let's be real here; it HAS to exist, doesn't it? Because, right now, I'm holding on to it, tenuously, depending on it to be there for my son even when I can't some day.