Imagine finding out your child is the only one out of a class of 23 students to not receive an invite to a birthday party. Even more heartbreaking, imagine the motive behind the reasoning was because your child is different.
That’s exactly what Langley, B.C., mom Jennifer Kiss-Engele experienced when her son Sawyer, who was born with Down Syndrome was the only student not invited to a classmate’s birthday party.
“You have invited all 22 other children from the class except for my son,” Kiss-Engele explains in a heartfelt open letter, posted to Facebook on June 23rd.
The collection of attentive words stresses that this was a conscious decision.
“I know it’s not because he’s mean, you couldn’t meet a happier child. I know it’s not because he’s not fun, he has a great sense of humour and an infectious laugh. The only reason why you decided it was okay to not invite my son to your child’s birthday party is because he has Down syndrome.”
The passionate mother decided to take the devastating news and turn it around to educate others and create a dialogue around the topic. “I am not mad at you”, she writes. “I know it can be difficult to teach our children about something we may not understand ourselves, but this is a great opportunity and life lesson to have with your child.”
“They will remember the time that their parent said to them, it’s not OK to leave someone out because of their disability, race, or gender.”
Hopefully the message she conveyed with the viral open letter reaches the hearts of parents, and children, around the world.
Main image courtesy of engelepartyof5 via Instagram