Monday, October 1, 2012
31 for 21
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month. And although I'm not usually a big "awareness" kind of blogger, I've signed up for the 31 for 21 blog challenge this month. We'll see if I make it posting every single day in the month of October. October is a really busy month and I've got a lot of high-stress deadlines coming up, like the inspectors coming to watch my classes, various appointments, and a large amount of carpooling and schlepping, but parenting a just-turned-13-year-old beautiful girl with Down syndrome is not generally one of my high-stress factors.
And because my blog is my happy place, I figured I could try to share more about one of the factors that helps keep me sane, happy, and balanced. Having a child with Down syndrome is, perhaps surprisingly, a big stress-reducer in my life. I wish more new parents knew this.
So why is it that 13 years ago, I was devastated, morose, convinced all chance of normalcy was gone forever from my life? I knew a little about Down syndrome before the doctor came into the room to break the news; enough to know that most babies diagnosed in utero aren't allowed to be born and join the rest of us. I wonder, now, if what I thought I knew about how "horrible" Down syndrome must be was more what I had absorbed from society subconsciously. Because I can tell you from my perspective, 13 years in, that kids with Down syndrome are awesome! They have so much to offer that the fear and stereotypes just do not hold water. I have to be careful not to love my daughter more than my other 3 kids. (Hmm, is it even okay to say that?!)
So I'll be welcoming some new readers to my blog this month and I hope they stick around for some of my ramblings. Most of the time here in CarpeLanam land I gab about knitting, quilting, spinning, teaching Latin, my favorite books, politics, food, and family. I plan to continue that during October but focus on Down syndrome a little more than usual. Because Down syndrome is really just one facet of my life, and I would like to see a society where people with all levels of ability are routinely accepted and included, just as my daughter has been in our family.