My guest blogger today was someone that I found on http://www.downsyndrome.com/, just under a year ago, who had put together a video "if her daughter could say what she was thinking", that I watched and sent to all my friends because it put me in stitches every time...and I found her again recently and have enjoyed reading her blog, http://www.tri21.downsyndrome.com/. Please welcome Laura's reflections on this time of year...
"Well, it's the month of November. With Thanksgiving coming up, I guess it makes all of us stop and think of what we are thankful for in our lives. One of the things I am grateful for is this whole wide world of people I never would have never even known had it not been for my daughter who has Down Syndrome. My world has grown from tiny to huge thanks all to her. It's a weird phenomenon but I am sure most people with somebody in their lives with Down Syndrome can relate to this.
I have always enjoyed my time to myself. I am one of those people who can go to a movie or a fancy restaurant all by myself and not think twice about it. I enjoy my solitude. I still do. (Of course being married with two children, makes these times of solitude few and far between!) Still, I think I am much more "out there" and sociable thanks to my daughter.
When she was born it was so devastating to hear she had Down Syndrome. I called my local county to notify them that I had a special needs child, as I was directed to by...I can't even remember who instructed me to do this! Anyway, soon my home was flooded with social workers, therapists, teachers all trying to help my daughter. It was the BEST thing ever. Not only were they helping her, they were helping me. So often these wonderful people were not just working with my daughter, but also allowing me to verbalize all that I was thinking and feeling at the time. When early intervention ended, I was introduced to a whole new world of people in the school setting.
Then there were the times I was out and about doing errands with my daughter. My daughter is so loving (and cute!) She just draws people to her. It is like she brings out the goodness in people. Now being a mother and an advocate for her and all, I was driven to be so open with these complete strangers. Here is my chance to show people that people with Down Syndrome have so much to offer. I have to open up and be approachable. How could I not?
Other times, I would be out somewhere and I would spot somebody with Down Syndrome, WoooHooo! You would think I spotted a Hollywood celebrity. After a bit of stalking, I usually approach the parent or caregiver of the person with Down Syndrome. Usually, it's like a big family reunion when I tell them my daughter has Down Syndrome, too. Invariable, we wind up talking and talking
Then, of course, there is the internet. I'd say 85% of my Facebook "friends" are people touched by somebody in their lives with Down Syndrome. What a great resource this is! There is even an awesome site: http://www.downsyndrome.com/ where ALL of us blog about our kids, siblings, grandchildren, etc. with Down Syndrome. Between Facebook and this site, there are all these people from around the WORLD all reaching out to each other. We are all boasting, bragging, crying, venting, laughing about all things Down Syndrome."