Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More Alike Than Different

The moment threatened to pass me by...fumbling frantically with my cell phone, punching in the password with impatient fingers, getting it wrong, punching it in again, getting it wrong again...finally, success!...then...waiting anxiously as the camera app took its own sweet time to load, watching the girls draw closer and closer to the school entrance where they'd ultimately turn the corner and be gone from view, the shot lost... 

Got it!


The two little girls, one in Sammi's class, one in the other Kindergarten class next door, saw us coming up the walk, and made it a point to come toward us, to join us, to hug Samantha and take her hand, to turn around and walk like that all the way to class.  To say I thought my heart would just burst then and there is an understatement.

It was a fluke, really, that I even had my cell phone on me at all that morning.  Not wanting to be burdened over the 100 yard trudge to the schoolyard, not expecting any 7:30am phone calls, there's just never any point to carrying it.  As we were walking out the door, however, Samantha spied it sitting on the lamp table in the hall and asked me to bring it so I could take her picture.  Another rare occurrence, and one you can bet I'm not likely to pass up.

While March is not Down Syndrome Awareness Month (that would be October), March 21st (3/21, as in three copies of the 21st chromosome) is Down Syndrome Awareness Day, and the message I would like people to start thinking about is epitomized so perfectly in this photo...

More Alike Than Different

Simple, right? 

It is, actually.  But getting others, who are not in our esteemed circle of extra chromosomes, to realize that, too, is a bit more of a challenge, and one that I passively seek out (is that possible?) each and every day.  Passively, meaning I have Sammi out and about doing very ordinary things all the time.  I behave no differently towards her than I would towards any other child.  I wear my pride and my love and my joy on my sleeve for all to see.  Yet I am acutely aware of the impact we may be making in the minds of those people who may not have a connection to the Ds world, who may not know what our children are capable of, who may not have seen the light outside of dated stereotypes and misinformation, yet who may remember this, and may think differently of Down syndrome as a result.

It's a tall order, yet it takes absolutely no effort on our parts.  How much simpler could it be? 

Love your children.  Enjoy your children.  Let them sneak those beautiful almond eyes and tender hearts into the souls of everyone around them, let everyone see how much more alike they are than different


(Necklace by Annie Reid at the House That Jade Built)

16 comments:

Deb said...

Thank you for sharing! I admit my mama's heart made me shed a few happy tears!

wendy said...

What a beautiful picture! I know exactly how you feel! Claire has friends who take her hand and walk with her also, it's a joy beyond explanation for us!! like you we hope by seeing Claire people will realize they are more alike than different.

Kimberly said...

It is simple. This is a great post.

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

this just made my day and smile!! BIG...I think that is what we all struggle with acceptance of kiddos and children asking our children to come along...this is a PERFECT picture to show it! thank you! smiles

Rochelle said...

Love this one you captured. Truly more alike than different!

Jenny said...

This was so perfect Becca...And that picture is one of may all time favorites, I love it!

teal915 said...

LOVE the picture : )

Team Lando said...

LOVE.

lovemy3 said...

Awww...I love it! I'm so glad you were able to capture it!

Anna said...

this post. Top of the list as one of my all-time favorites. Really. Little G takes me places Id never dreamed. Sometimes not willingly I might add. She, and Sammi, are definitely teaching me, and others.

Cathy said...

Absolutely fabulous!!! Definitely more alike than different.

And can I say...your phone sure takes better photos than mine!

Michelle said...

Such a beautiful picture and post! And wow what a great quality picture for your cell phone ... good thing Sammi had you take it with you!

Rob Monroe said...

Perfection - so sweet! Glad you took your phone. :)

Cate said...

I love this. Exactly what I needed right now. And I totally agree on the passive, just-living-our-lives way of making change...I think that's more powerful than anything.

Anonymous said...

What a perfect moment you captured. I happily get to witness sooo many precious moments with your Sammi. She brings such joy to every person she encounters during her day at school. I feel so lucky to have her in my life!!

ChaCHA online said...

I love this picture and this post. :) I was on bus duty in front of the school and saw you taking the photo. It made me laugh and tear up because I knew you were feeling the same thing I was when I saw them-- only much bigger. What a special school we have for our children, where acceptance is nurtured so successfully.