Today is World Down Syndrome Day. March 21st. 3/21. Trisomy (3) of the 21st chromosome.
Some things I've learned about Down syndrome:
1. It isn't scary
2. It makes me look at things differently
3. Those with DS still have unique personalities and aren't blobs
4. People with DS have talents
5. People with DS can learn, understand, and remember
6. There's still many misconceptions about DS
7. Those of us who love people with DS just want others to accept them for who they are.
8. People with DS don't want to be cured, they want to be loved and respected
9. People with DS aren't happy all the time, they experience a range of emotions
10. Though there are challenges, it's challenging to raise any child
In a perfect world, we'd recognize that those with DS are not the ones that are handicapped. They are not the ones who have the disability. Those of us without DS are truly the ones with the handicap and disability because too often we let things that don't matter get in the way of what's important. We decide we don't like someone because he/she was unkind to us. We hold grudges. We are judgmental. We have conditional love. We can't see past imperfections. We let pride color our decisions. We are selfish and self-centered. We don't want to be around someone who is different. We are too uptight to enjoy life. We don't laugh enough. We don't hug enough. We don't love enough.
Today, let's celebrate those who have that extra chromosome and realize it isn't a bad thing. People with DS can and do offer wonderful things to our society. We need to be willing to see the person inside instead of being distracted by what's on the outside. I have never met anyone who, after taking the time to know someone with DS, regretted knowing that person. I have never met a parent who wished he/she didn't have his/her child with DS.
Here are a few photos of my son who has his own distinct personality. He is full of love and life. He makes us laugh and brings a joy to our home that's indescribable. I am thankful every day that the Lord chose me to be his mom and only hope I can be the kind of mom he deserves.