Thursday, October 2, 2014

Down Syndrome and the People Who Already Know.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. There have been other years where I've posted facts about Down syndrome every day on Facebook. Or tried to post 31 days on my blog to help raise awareness.

But this year?

I dunno.
Down syndrome is beautiful and hard and rewarding and isolating and freeing. It is colorfully woven into the fabric of our family. Down syndrome shapes some of my fears and offers me surprising joy. It is a contradiction of emotions and a simply complex aspect of our life.
Sometimes Down syndrome comes up in casual conversations. And it almost always comes up in my most heart-felt conversations. Down syndrome and all that comes with it is planted deep in my heart. It is difficult to explain how having a child with Trisomy 21 changed everything and nothing at the same time.
Would I have ever gone to a Buddy Walk without my Miss Banana and her extra 21st chromosome? I want to say yes to that...but the true answer is that I never went to one (or had even heard of one!) before Miss B was born. I openly admit that--other than the text book information in my Human Biology classes--I knew nothing of Down syndrome.

Zilch.
But other people know. People who don't have a sweet and sassy Miss B waking them up every morning. People who's hearts are open and changed simply by meeting my girl or someone else in the worldwide Down syndrome family. People who don't need to be given the gift of a child with Down syndrome to know that it is a Gift.

They already Know.

These people reach out. These people include my girl simply because they love her. They see and are drawn to that inexplicable magic she brings with her. These people speak up for her. They protect her. They drop everything--literally--to search for her and make sure she is safe. They cry with us. They laugh with us. They celebrate with us.

They Know. 

They care. They inspire me to look around and make sure I am being the support to others that they are to us. To put it simply, they love, no matter what.
 To all of you that already know, Thank You. Thank you for caring. Thank you for opening your homes and your hearts and your arms to my little lady and anyone else that has designer genes. Thank you for changing the way you talk and for using respectful words. Thank you for overlooking the shortcomings we have when the worry becomes overwhelming. Thank you for sticking with us when our life is messy. Thank you for your enthusiasm and encouragement and celebration for all of our successes. Thank you for sharing with us the graciousness and courtesy you share with everyone else. Thank you for understanding The Sameness and The Difference that comes with Down syndrome.

We could not walk this journey without you.

Please keep on being a warrior for Miss B and everyone else with Down syndrome. Please keep accepting. Please keep advocating. Please keep caring. Please keep loving.

I know you will because you already are. 
You already know.
Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!!

2 comments:

Lindsey said...

Hi Carrie,

I haven't been reading blogs much lately, but I was thinking about you and curious to see how you're doing. I love this post! Your daughter is so beautiful. I've always had a special place in my heart for people with Down's Syndrome since being a helper in special ed in middle school. They really are so special and carry such a strong spirit with them. Glad to see you're doing well! Go Huskers :)

Lindsey

Mardra Sikora said...

This is a great post.
Marcus and I have met these people along the way too and, yes, all that you said.

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