Grey’s Anatomy star Caterina Scorsone commemorated World Down Syndrome Day in the cutest way – by doing ABCs with her toddler!
On Saturday, the 38-year-old television star shared an Instagram video of herself and her 3-year-old daughter, Paloma “Pippa” Michaela, who lives with Down Syndrome. In the sweet footage, the mother and daughter duo are sitting beside each other as Pippa showcased her knowledge of the ABCs.
Caterina led the way and signed the alphabet in American Sign Language with her right hand as Pippa correctly identified each letter with confidence. The young lass excitedly watched her mom and shouted out the letters one by one as they worked their way through the alphabet.
When they finally reached Z, Caterina threw her hands up in the air in celebration, cheering her daughter for her accomplishment.
“Yay! Pippa is smart!” Caterina said while performing the gesture for “smart” in sign language, which Pippa imitated.
“Happy World Down syndrome awareness day, everybody!!” the Grey’s Anatomy actress captioned the adorable clip. “Sending love and alphabets from our family to yours!!”
Caterina welcomed Pippa in November 2016. She is a mother to two other daughters, Eliza, 7, and Arwen, 2 months, whom she shares with husband Rob Giles.
Last year, in an emotional Motherly podcast, Caterina shared her reaction upon learning of Pippa’s diagnosis and what it was like to raise her.
“What I unconsciously thought about my job as a mother was that I was supposed to equip her to survive in a competitive world,” she said.
Caterina admitted that she first went into a “tailspin” when she realized that Pippa was going to have physical and cognitive differences. She wondered how she could become the best mother to her daughter. But then she had an epiphany.
“This simple voice came to me where I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do — oh, ‘I’m supposed to keep her safe and I’m supposed to make her feel loved,'” she recalled. “And suddenly my understanding of my job as a mother completely distilled and opened.”
But even if she came to that realization, the Grey’s Anatomy star still had problematic assumptions about her daughter’s condition.
“I had to confront that thought experiment of ‘I don’t know if [Pippa is] going to be clever, I don’t know if she’s going to be funny’ — which, of course, she is, and now that I know more about Down syndrome, I’m like, ‘Oh, what a stupid thought I had,'” she explained. “But I didn’t know, and it forced me to realize that I was loving my other daughter and everyone, including myself, for absolutely the wrong reason. I was loving people for their external qualities and not for their essence.”
Caterina went on to say that that change in her mindset “was the most healing and nourishing gift that I could have possibly been given by the universe.”
The celebrity shared her advice for parents who are in the same situation: “It’s important to ‘create a safe space for them to feel all of the feelings that they’re having.”
See the adorable video of the mother and daughter duo below.