Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26: Remembering...Our First Ds Event

Below is a photo of Sammi at 6 months old (look at that RED hair!!!).  We were at our first Down Syndrome Association event, the December 2006 Holiday Party, and, like most people new to the larger, more universal Ds "family," we were a little bit shell-shocked.  But also comforted.  Here we were, in a huge room, a high school cafeteria, full to the brim with people we'd never met - children, teens and adults we were looking to for answers and inspiration.

I quickly sought out my Parent to Parent mentor and her family, as her daughter was much older than Samantha, a little girl in elementary school.  It felt good to know that there was someone there that I could connect with, at least initially, until we could settle in in the best way we knew how.    

The thing that struck me most that day was how kids acted like kids.  When a group of children, some with Down syndrome, some siblings without, gathered around Samantha to ooh and ahh over the baby, we realized that the differences were fewer than we had expected.  Nowhere were the bowl cuts of old (yes, I'm still going on about that - it was a big deal for me!!), people were happy and enjoying themselves, and we saw people with a range of abilities, just like in any "typical" population.  We were glad we went.

We ended up really enjoying ourselves, and Samantha got her very first visit to Santa's lap (she couldn't get enough of his beard!), but I know that those first events aren't so easy for everyone.  Some friends later revealed to us that they, too, had gone to that holiday party, but after pulling into the parking lot in front of the school, balked and returned home without ever stepping foot over the threshold.  And that's okay.  It happens.  You're ready when you're ready


That darned bib (and about 100 others in our arsenal) was pretty much a constant fashion accessory for Samantha, given her astounding ability to barf at any given moment.  I shudder to remember just how many disgusting, soaking pieces of cloth and changes of clothing we'd go through in a day.  Yuck.

Again, pre-DSLR, pre-Photoshop...  And yes, I am showing you some of my favorite old photos of her, but don't worry, I'll show you some of the squidgier ones, too...stay tuned...

6 comments:

Team Lando said...

So she was always beautiful!

The Annessa Family said...

Agreed :) She's perfection!

Brooke
www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

Anna said...

Great post and FAB picture. What a love she is...... I needed this today. Thank you.

doozee said...

she makes me want to coo and babble at her and generally do the things that make people make fun of people like me. xo

Zoey's mom, Heather said...

What a little sweet love bug!!!

evrfwd said...

Yes, I remember our first christmas party event..it was too overwhelming. Not to mention we sat at a table with people that weren't the friendliest. But thank goodness we are connected better now. It makes a world of difference.
Oh that Sammi! She is always gorgeous no matter what she is wearing. =)