If you asked Hunter what my primary purpose in life in he would assure you that, after being an excellent source of a tasty beverage, it's to serve as a baby jungle gym. To Hunter and C (the little boy I watch), my legs are obstacle courses, my arms are monkey bars, and my neck is convenient for hanging on (and occasional slobbery kisses).
The other day C clambered over my crossed ankles into my lap, and, fisting two chubby hands into the collar of my shirt, leaned back to study my face. We were sitting in front of the window overlooked the garden, and sunlight filtered through the trees, lighting up the green and gold flecks in C's brown eyes. C has trout-stream eyes, the color of sunlight on a leaf-filled brook. Deep, soulful, absolutely gorgeous deep set almond eyes.
A moment later knees thumped on carpet and Hunter crab-lolloped over to lunge for his spot on the "baby gym". He turned a laughing face up to me and the sunlight splashed into his eyes. Hunter has eyes the intense, shocking cerulean of a Florida summer sky. While C's eyes are deep-set and almond-shaped, Hunter's are shallow and round. And while subtle color flickers through C's, Hunter's eyes are lit only with the twinkle of trouble. He has the tropical land of his birth in his eyes and they are beautiful.
It was only after both boys tired of chewing on my collar bones and scampered off to squabble over their flashcards that I realized the whole time I was admiring (and yes, comparing) the two boys' eyes that never once had the thought of Down syndrome come into my mind. I never thought that Hunter's eyes are smaller and shallower-set because he possesses an extra chromosome, or that Corban's are deeper and larger because he doesn't. I only thought of them both as two little boys, unique and perfect in their own selves.
Which of course, is exactly what they are.