Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Am Who I Am - Celebrating WDSD and EVERY Day!

Today is World Down Syndrome Day.  I'm sure most of you know this already, but for those of you who don't, it's kind of a big deal.  Not like every day isn't a big deal, isn't special and celebrated, but it honestly feels so good to know that the whole world can come together on this day to really, truly, appreciate and celebrate our chromosomally-enhanced loved ones.

In observance, I'm re-posting my text from last Friday's "Who I Am" post, and sharing this amazing video from IDSC.  This is seriously a good one!



 
 
Who I Am

 
Left:  Me, pregnant.  Right:  Me and Samantha, 2 years and 1 day from the date of the original photo, in the same spot. 


My daughter has Down syndrome.  Who she is can be only partially summed-up by adjectives -

smart...



 funny...



beautiful...



compassionate...




stubborn...




determined...




energetic...



enthusiastic...



kind...



polite...



But that's not all of who she is. 

She is my daughter.  She is the light of the lives of her father, her grandparents, and me, myself.  She is a student.  She is nearly 7 years old.  She likes playing doctor, reading books, eating spaghetti, posing for pictures, playing computer games, crawling into our bed at 5:30am and going back to sleep for a bit longer, watching Arthur or Curious George, going to school, traveling...and the list goes on and on and on...

She is close to being able to dictate this post herself, to tell you, from her own lips, who she is.  But until that time, I don't feel that my telling you who she is is entirely fair. 

But I can speak for myself.  Who I am, as a result of who she is.  The resulting woman she has created by coming into my life, extra chromosome and all.



Who I am.

That's what I can tell you.

I am a mother, first and foremost.  I am a mother who has learned more than I ever thought possible about a world stretching out well-beyond the one that accompanies the typical experiences of motherhood. 

Down syndrome, the presence of the extra 21st chromosome being shared within each and every cell in my daughter's body, has made me different.  I don't mean to say that it's just Down syndrome that has made me who I am, but it's Down syndrome *within* the person my daughter is that has helped to shape me. 

If that makes sense.



I am my daughter's mother.

I am ready to meet new challenges head-on, to take on the world if it means providing the best opportunities for my daughter.

I am passionate about a cause.

I am educated in much of the minutiae of childhood development that most parents take for granted. 

I am strong.

I am a person with so much more patience and understanding than I ever though I was capable of.

I am part of a community that has embraced and welcomed us with open arms, a warm and loving club full of people sharing like-interests and experiences.

I am a teacher.

I am an advocate.

I am so, so lucky to be her mother.




Happy World Down Syndrome Day to you all!

6 comments:

Rachel Douglas said...

#loveit

Kristen's mom said...

Beautiful girl!

Laura said...

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

Kerri said...

OMG Becca I love this post. You are freaking awesome!!! You are so much more than a mom of a child with Down Syndrome. You are the mom of a terrific, photogenic on top of everything else kid. By the way, the last picture is probably my fave :)

Anonymous said...

I subscribe through E-mails to your blog and wanted to make a comment on something I read this morning. Of course, you may already be aware, but just in case not:
I'm sure you want to know about anything that can be helpful for your daughter. I'm the grandmother of a nine-year-old girl that lives with a rare genetic syndrome...Langer-Giedion that perhaps may have similarities with Down's. So I'm interested in any research that may help these children live a fuller life in our society. Samantha is so blessed to have such a supportive family as I hope all children regardless their circumstances are. Cheers!

Karrie said...

I love this post, Becca!!!

Sammi is one of the prettiest little girls ~ you capture her beauty in all of those photos!!

Happy World Down syndrome Day!! (a little late!)