This blog was inspired by 31 for 21 & is about my wonderful family.

"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible & trust God with the impossible." ~Ruth Bell Graham

"Never look down on someone, unless you're helping them up!"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8

     Everyone who knows me, knows that I love my family.  I love my husband, 2 boys, & my daughter with my entire heart & soul.  They also know that my middle son has Down syndrome.  My job as a mother is to advocate for my children.  With October being Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I am posting things daily about Down syndrome on facebook & I'm blogging on here daily, all to raise awareness & educate those who aren't familiar with Down syndrome.  Today, a (now former) friend posted about how she was mad about everyone clogging up her news feed about Down syndrome.  And get this, her child HAS DOWN SYNDROME!  She went on to say that us parents should wake up, accept our child's diagnosis, & move on.  Well, I calmly explained to her why I do this.  She went on the attack again, so I just unfriended her.  I'm not going to waste my time on her.
     But I do want to explain something.  I try to show the world that my son is just like every other toddler.  Because, he is.  He loves the same things most toddlers do.  He has the same temper & attitude...he's impatient, loves to play, has a nap & bedtime, just like most toddlers.  But then again, no, he's not like most toddlers his age...& that's okay!  I think back to when Chancey was his age, almost 4.  At this age, he bathed himself, brushed his own teeth, & didn't ride in a stroller.  He knew the alphabet, colors, how to write his name, & how to count.  He could dress himself, feed himself, drink out of a regular cup, he could color in a coloring book, draw, & write his entire name.  By the time Chancey started Kindergarten, he could read. 
     Should I compare my kids, no matter if they have special needs or not?  NO!  Everyone learns at their own pace.  Not every child is the same, period...Down syndrome or not.  Am I upset that Troy is just now learning his colors, how to count, & the alphabet?  No way!  I'm so very proud of him.  That's why I brag about him constantly.  Hey, he'll get there.  In his own time, he'll do those things.  I'm sincerely grateful to be given the opportunity to teach him.  I'm blessed to have him as my son.
     To tell someone to get over their child's diagnosis & move on?  Nope, I can't do that.  I'll never get over the fact that my son has Down syndrome, because it's not something that he'll get over.  He will never "get rid" of that extra copy of the 21st chromosome.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter that my son has Down syndrome.  I've never had the "poor me" mentality.  I have never wished him or his something extra away.  I had the CVS test to determine if my son had Down syndrome to be prepared.  I accepted his diagnosis before I was even in my 2nd trimester!  So why should I stop trying to teach the world about that something extra & what it does to make him the same, yet different from everyone else?  If I did that, I'd be giving up, now wouldn't I?  I'm not going to give up on my son, EVER!
     I'm not doing this for me.  I'm not doing this for my family.  Honestly, I'm doing this...posting daily, blogging, wearing my DS attire (necklaces, ribbons, pins, shirts), walking in the Buddy Walk, etc. to help educate those who aren't aware of what Down syndrome is.  I didn't know what Down syndrome meant before I had my son.  Now, I did know that it's a chromosomal thing & I knew that people with Down syndrome had a certain "look."  But that was all.  I'm hoping that by doing this, that my friends (who don't have children with Down syndrome) will learn something & share it with their families.  I know that my Down syndrome community knows what it is & they know every thing I know, if not more.  I just thought they all knew the reasoning behind my efforts.  After all, I did warn folks that I'd be doing this.  And I love learning new things.  I have a good friend who has a son with Autism.  I know what Autism is & I know how it affects her son {to an extent}but I do not know what he goes through, what his family goes through...& I don't know all of the facts about Autism.  I would LOVE to, though.  I'd love to read daily posts about it in the month of April, during Autism Awareness Month.
     The lady who complained just struck a nerve with me.  Sure, she complained on her own wall.  I realize she has the right to write what she want to on her own wall.  But, I have the right to respond.  I did politely tell her the reasons why I was posting facts daily.  She said that she'd be hiding my newsfeed from her wall.  Why?  First of all, if you have a child with Down syndrome, you should be proud to know that I'm here advocating for your child.  Second, if you don't like that, don't hide my posts, delete me all together!  Just because you complain doesn't mean that I'm going to stop using my voice.  Nope, that will never happen.  Finally, don't keep me as friend if you aren't going to associate with me.  I'm not a number, I am a person.  So if my posts bother you, feel free to delete me.  I won't be offended at all.  If you don't want to do that, if you don't want to lose me as a number, let me know you're offended by my son...I'll gladly hit the unfriend button!

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