Monday, March 21, 2016

My people are the best people: National Down Syndrome Day 2016

In case you didn't already see it plastered all over your social media pages, it's National Down Syndrome Day.

I must be honest in saying that I never imagined that such a day would be one that celebrates the life of my beautiful son. As I have been thinking of what I'd like to say to the world on such a day, it was simple.

As you wear your #crazysockforCash, I hope you'll take the moment to talk to your children about my child. Tell them about his fire red hair and his heart-winning smile. Tell them about his baby rolls and how he loves to snuggle. But, what I'd also like for you to tell them is this. Tell them that he may not always look like them. That his eyes may look different and he may be smaller than they are. His words might sound funny sometimes and he may need extra help in school. Tell them that, although he will probably love to give hugs and smiles, he may also have bad days where doesn't always know how to maintain his emotions. But tell them not to be scared. Help them understand and embrace the differences. Remind them that he, too, will have dreams and aspirations. He may dream of falling in love, going to college, and living on his own. Help them get past the awkward glances and misinterpretations. Tell them that although he has Down Syndrome, it doesn't define him.Teach them to be open, kind, and knowledgeable.

Days like today are filled with less fear of my child's future. I've been absolutely overcome with ugly tears that have served as a reminder that my people are the best people. A reminder that my people are raising children to accept and love my son. A reminder that my people are good, loving, and open to differences.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being my people.

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