Monday, March 21, 2011

Today is World Down Syndrome Day!

Today, March 21, marks the 7th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day.   Click on the picture above to learn about this very important day, and to see some of the celebrations all over the world.   Today is a day to celebrate the strengths and diversity of people with Down syndrome.  

I've written and re-written a post about 100 times today.  I'm sure many of the people who read this blog can relate to my difficulties in writing on such an emotional day.   Really, where do I begin?  Do I write about the personal journey my family has had with Down syndrome;  a journey that began nearly 14 years ago?  Do I write about Paige herself, and the incredible young lady she has grown into?  Do I write about the many, many other children and adults with Down syndrome that I have come to know, and how each one of them has offered me beautiful and unique insight into life?   Do I write about the not-so-happy stories, of children in other countries, who are cast aside, left to die, or perhaps even worse, sent to institutions where they will live out their lives never having known the love of a real family?   And, of course, with that, goes the staggering statistics of our own "civilized" world - where in North America, some estimations are that nearly 8 out of 10 women who find out their unborn child has Down syndrome will chose to end that child's life, rather than welcome it into the world?

But, today is a day of celebration. And celebrate we should. As you can imagine, those of us who have been welcomed into this world of Down syndrome, through the birth or adoption of a child, or the addition of a new family member, or a friend's baby, or even though our interactions with an adult with Down syndrome in our community - today, well, we celebrate; we offer good wishes to one another.  We smile that knowing little smile that allows us to tell one another that we get it - we understand how it feels to have your heart open just a little wider - your joy-cup runneth over, and oh, how glorious that feels. 

Today,  I celebrate Paige, and her amazing life, and her amazing capacity to love, and find wonder in the world.  I can't get enough of this child.  My heart bursts open every single morning when she is still sleepy and full of hugs, and it fills with laughter when she points her finger at me, very seriously, and says my name, telling me so very much with that small gesture. 

And through her, and my love for her, my eyes have been opened to a whole world of people with Down syndrome.   Its like a force-field, a magnetic draw that pulls me in - where my best fantasies involve being able to spend all my days in a room full of children with Down syndrome - learning and growing, and shooting for the stars.  Oh, how we would celebrate when one of those stars were caught! I imagine my world to be aligned just so, just right so I could visit Reese's Rainbow, and bring a few children home, to fill my rooms and my heart to overflowing with 21st chromosomes.  

People with Down syndrome are as unique and diverse in their abilities and desires as people with the typical number of chromosomes are.  Some will soar, and run, screaming into the world, "Here I am!!  Watch me go!"  And others will do it a little slower, a little more quietly, tentatively feeling their way into a world that is sometimes a little scary, a little too big.

Today is a day of celebration indeed. 

I love someone with Down syndrome.

 I love a lot of someone's with Down sydnrome. 

Do you?

15 comments:

Mauzy said...

Yes I do, and I so love you Betsy Bisket, your wisdom, your words, and your wonderful child with Ds that allowed me to meet you.

Happy World Down syndrome Day!

Stargazer said...

Hello there, my name is Trace Burroughs I'm a producer of New Paradigm Entertainment. I'm working on an Independent Feature Film that shows what the world looks like from the point of view of someone who has down syndrome. I'm sincerely sorry if this in any way offends you but if you are interested please contact me at LMENSTUDIO@aol.com.

jmrinaldo said...

What lovely thoughts! In our house, every day is Down Syndrome Day. I am an author and the proud father of a 38-year-old daughter with Down syndrome. I have written a novel in ebook form, A SPY AT HOME, which is available on Amazon. In this book I have a central character, Noah, who has Down. I would like to invite you to read this ebook, and I would be very interested in your thoughts about the story. I can be reached directly at rinald47@gmail.com.
Thank you for your blog and for sharing your child with Down syndrome.
Joe Rinaldo

Brina K. said...

Hi Betsy,

When I went to two of your favorite blogs, I noticed that Olivia had not had an entry since 2008 and Mina did not have one since 2007. Do you know if these little girls are OK? I think everyone would like to hear how they are doing!

Thanks! And by the way, isn't Dakota getting ready for college? Please write a new entry!

Brina K.

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Epic Fail said...

I only just found your blog. My brother-in-law has a child with Down's Syndrome. It's lucky that he's a patient man. She is a handful.

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