The Real Deal
We waited to board the elevator with an attractive, typical-appearing family, and my heart split down the middle as I made the assumption they were on vacation. Perhaps on their way down the street to Disneyland. I felt a small twinge of jealously and anger in my gut. Oh to have a typical child. I very rarely feel sorry for myself anymore, but I allowed myself the indulgence of the feeling for a few seconds. Erik stood nose-to-nose with their little girl and repeatedly said hello, flashing a couple hopeful smiles at her. As we entered the elevator and stood side by side with this family, the doors slid shut, the floor shuddered with the movement of the hidden mechanics of the thing, and there were a couple subtle noises that elevators are generally known to make.
The girl let out an ear-piercing scream and covered her ears tightly in alarm.
My internal Willi-Radar apparently failed to alert me to the presence of fellow parents of a child with WS, and I was completely surprised. Brian and I looked at the other couple and smiled knowingly, feeling for them because this horrible phenomenon was quite familiar to us all. Erik did not break his gaze towards the little girl but very calmly covered his own ears to escape the noise. We exchanged very few words at all. There was no need. These people were not headed to Disneyland for a cacophonous jaunt on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Not this year, anyway.
The doors opened in the lobby, and they were gone.