Down Syndrome Awareness is Everyday

Well, you have heard me talk and rant and complain about everything that's related to Down syndrome. I guess what I haven't done is empower each of you fine folks to do the same. Take these ideas that I have shared with you to heart. These are real situations that my family and many others face.

We are in a great place right now because we live in a country where we have freedom. Freedom of choice and freedom for a wonderful, fulfilling life. We live in a place that can be wonderful and beautiful yet also ugly and dark. We live in a place that wants to learn, to find ways and opportunity for our loved ones with Ds. That my friends is the reason for my blog. For my advocating. So that Lb and her friends can have a fulfilling life full of opportunity, love and support.

I hope my posts have inspired you to share with someone if you ever hear they may be facing the challenges we have overcome in the last 2+ years. By all means, please introduce us. I am happy to speak to anyone about our journey. 

With that, I wanted to share a simple list of what you can do to spread the love. Every. Single. Day.

1. Treat others with respect
2. Be kind to one another
3. Don't use the R word
4. Support those around you that are different
5. Embrace uniqueness
6. Empower
7. Teach your kids to be kind.
8. Teach your kids to be friends with everyone
9. Teach compassion
10. Share stories. Share our story.
11. Share my blog. (Please, its like cooties, beggin for it! ;))
12. Include
13. Embrace
14. Speak up
15. Speak out
16. Love
17. Love some more
18. Donate
19. Volunteer
20. Wear Blue and Yellow to spread awareness
21. Celebrate with us on March 31st for World Down Syndrome Day (3-21)

I'll leave you with a great story that someone gave to me when I was pregnant with Lb. I have shared it on my blog before. It's written by Emily Perl Kingsley and I am hoping because I am giving credit and not making a profit from her work that it's not considered copyright. (shame on me for going to school for this and not remembering), Thank you Mrs. Kingsley.

She had a son with Ds and also was a writer for Sesame Street. (A program I fully support as they ALWAYS have people with all abilities including Ds on the show.) These words hit me in the gut the first time I read them. How gripping and SO TRUE.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. 

The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Until next time..


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