Finding Caleb

Almost a year ago Thorin told me: “Boyfriend, please.” He wanted a friend who was a Dude. This will please Bubba, gone now almost 6 months– I prayed for Thorin to find a boy who could be a friend.

In January, 2016 I was waiting for Thorin’s theater class to end at The Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine (the most amazing place in the universe by-the-way). I saw a young, very young woman, standing next to a boy who looked to have Down syndrome. I broke all the rules I find annoying:

“Hi! Say, does he have Down syndrome?”

“Yes, he does.”

“Awesome! Are you his mother or something?” (It is clear she would have had him at 10 if that were true.)

“No his friend, his aide.”

“My son looks about his age–9? He has Down syndrome.”

“Yes, 9.”

“Do you think…um…we could get together for a play date?”

“I think so. Let me ask his mother.”

“Of course!”


February 2016

For the next almost year Thorin and I have gotten together almost every week with Caleb and Hannah.

He and Caleb have a secret language. They bust each other’s balls. They talk about farts. They are boy friends.





This entry was posted in abelism, being-different, Down syndrome, Down syndrome community, Down syndrome in media, homeschooling, human rights, Inclusion, Parenting by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She has a M.S.W. and has been at various times a practicing social worker, documentary videographer, film festival director and retail clerk. She is the author of Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

10 thoughts on “Finding Caleb

  1. I love this so, so much… our son (12 years old) who has down syndrome is mostly non-verbal and when he does talk, its pretty much unintelligible, so hearing these boys talk so clearly gives me such hope that one day, we will really understand what all Wallace is saying…. thank you

  2. Nice story, Kari. I love reading about and observing Thorin’s life unfold. You and Ward are doing a great job parenting him but you’re also doing a public service: raising a young ‘un to grow up to contribute to society! He is already moving the bar higher.

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