Thursday, October 3, 2013

Spreading Awareness, Being Boring, Taking Pictures



October, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, has snuck up on me once again.  In the past I've said, "I don't think I can blog 31 for 21," yet then turned around and managed to pull it off anyway.  But this year I'm saying it and meaning it.  I will continue to blog throughout the month, but it most certainly will not be all 31 days. 

I like the idea of a dedicated time to spread awareness about Down syndrome, to build acceptance of our children and loved ones, and to help new families by providing information and support.  The reality is, however, that the main people reading my blog (if any these days!) already have children with Down syndrome over the age of newborn, and are all out there spreading their own awareness.  I love that, and think there's probably not much new and different that I can provide here.  I may do a few soul-baring posts, drop in some photos, complain about the usual issues, and, perhaps, bore you to tears as I'm doing right now.

So, back to our hum-drum life, today was picture day at school.  Remember this post?  About photographing the oddly-reluctant child?  Like, my child?  Like, my gorgeous little model who poses, preens and prances for my camera, but who usually freaks out in front of any kind of formalized photo?  Her history of school photo-taking is laughable.  Even going back to preschool.  The crossed arms, the lowered head, the pout.  She's got it all.  Miserable.  There was one year that we couldn't get anything out of her.  She dug in her heels and flat-out refused to sit for the photo, either on her own, or with her class.  One year we got the pouty pic.  One year we got the smile that came through eyes reddened and tear-stained, a smile so sad and pathetic that anyone who sees it feels horribly sorry for her, for the ordeal that she'd just had to go through.  One year Steve was in attendance, with the hopes that the presence of a parental cheerleader would smooth the rough edges.  Nope.  Got nuthin' from that, too.  Last year the photo was so freaking awful that there was no way I was going to allow it in the yearbook to be viewed for years to come by classmates.  I wouldn't embarrass her that way.  So, recalling that one of the standard back-drops was a purply color, I marched her into the main floor powder room of our house, had her stand up against the purply wall sandwiched between the toilet and the sink, and snapped a few shots, cropped them, and sent them to the school for inclusion in the yearbook.  And, to be honest, at a quick glance, you really can't tell that the shot had been taken somewhere else.  Well, it didn't stand out so much that it would draw attention to itself, thankfully, and trust me, I was fully prepared to have to do the same again this year.

Except...

except...

today she cooperated.  Or so we've been told.  Can you see how I'm jumping up and down with joy??  I'm SO excited, and can't wait to see the photo!  This is a HUGE step!  Of course I didn't send a check for a photo package in with her (can someone please tell me whose inane idea it is to have parents pay for the packages up front before getting to see the image?), but I'll hope they'll let me do it after-the-fact. 

And now we wait.  And revel in the happy stuff instead of dwelling on the note we got home from the AP today about her behavior... 

More on that another time.  Little stinker...



8 comments:

Stephanie said...

Owen had picture today at school today too. I'm told "he was easy--he laughed". We'll see when the pictures come home, I guess!

I hope Sammi's turn out great!

Deborah said...

I always look forward to your posts, whether they are spreading awareness or just about regular life.

evrfwd said...

Oh yes, picture day! Love to laugh at all the funny faces my kid makes and I'm a nut I buy the funny ones too. hehehe I can't wait to see the picts of Sammi! I'm glad you continue to write throughout the year not just in October, like I seem to the last two years. This year though I did not commit to doing so for various reasons. You are my inspiration though, love that you share your life like you do. oxox

Emily said...

I actually haven't had my baby yet and I check in every couple days for anything new. I'm due Oct 31 with a a confirmed diagnosis through amnio at 26 weeks. I love reading about real families experiences. It has helped me to gain information and feel excited rather than scared for her arrival. For that, I thank you!! :)

Lisa said...

For me its like getting a Christmas present from a distant relative the day the photos come home - some years it is great, some years it is awful but rarely in between! and we have how many more years of these?

Becca said...

To Emily, who commented above - Wow, I had no idea I had anyone with a prenatal diagnosis reading my blog!! That actually puts this all in perspective for me, and reminds me of how important it is for me to keep writing, to maintain the every-day occurrences along with the more issue-oriented posts. I'm excited for you, and wish you a healthy, easy end to your pregnancy! I hope you'll continue to visit, and will share your sweet baby with us when he or she is born. Feel free to friend me on Facebook - I'm Rebecca Benson-Bates (but drop me a note so I remember who you are!).

Jenny said...

Oooh, can't wait to see her picture!!

And Becca I love your blog because your child is older than mine and there are not a lot of blogs out there that describe or show what life is like at an older age, at the "school" age. I love getting glimpses into everyday life and what our future could look like...I need that glimpse. So I love what ever you put out there. Even though we all have kids with Ds and we know all the "awareness" stuff, each journey is unique and I love reading yours :)

karynslater said...

DITTO TO WHAT JENNY SAID!
(which incidentally, Jenny, is also why I love your blog!!) It is so helpful to see things from the perspective of someone who has lived through life with a kiddo with DS for longer...just gives you fresh eyes into your own circumstances. Love your blog Becca:)