I would love to say that I spent it loving' on Hazel all day but the truth is I found myself unable to resist checking social media - A LOT! I just love seeing how everyone spends their days with their loved ones. I love reading the special blog posts people somehow have the time to prepare in advance. This one in particular at The Lucky Few. I love pictures of funky socks popping up in my feed. I love the yellow and blue heart emoticons that people use on IG like crazy. Most of all it's guaranteed that most families will post the absolute cutest pics ever of all the sweet children I have come to meet via IG and FB. I know we can't all be together but in my mind, as I look through all the photos, I pretend that we are.
So here's what we actually did do. Auntie Paula made a special blanket, called the "Hazel Love" blanket and she donated the proceeds to the local Up About Down Association. She is always ready to give, always thinking of new, innovative ways to support Hazel and mostly she just loves her so much. We were proud to be there when she presented the check to them at our 5k walk. An incredibly generous gesture that warmed the heart on that very cold day.
The fact that it was extremely cold and windy on the water, didn't stop so many of our dear friends and sweet family from coming out to support the cause. I can't tell you what it means to us to have people in our lives that not only accept Hazel but also are willing to stand up and show that they accept her at an event like this one.
Here's the other thing that's important to me. It gives chance for my friends and family to meet other families that have had the fortune of having children with DS. They get to see that it's not only Hazel who they are standing for, but all these families who are trying to break down barriers of ignorance and acceptance for their children.
It gives all our children, of varying abilities, a reason to be together. To grow TOGETHER, to walk TOGETHER and to STAND TOGETHER.
I'd love to say that we celebrate Down syndrome everyday in our home but the truth is that we don't. Down syndrome in our home is "normal", just like in some of your homes it's not "normal." It just is.
That's not to say that we don't celebrate everyday in our homes.
Because we do. A LOT!! So much so that Nola and Hazel do any little thing and they look at us to clap and cheer for them. And you better believe when Hazel hits a milestone, communicates effectively, eats a new food, tries a new skill, or does anything a little better than she did it the day before there's a real earth-shattering-jumpy-clapping-tears-welling-alleluia-praise-Him-jolly-old scream and laugh session taking place because of said accomplishment. There is nothing more rewarding than having a child with Down syndrome but at the same time, it's not without its frustrations. The feelings of pride are indescribable, but watching how hard Hazel has to work at everything she does can weigh on a mamas heart. I can say this, I am incredibly thankful for all that Hazel has accomplished and all that the future will hold for her. Just know that it's not without it's trials and tribulations. I mean, she is an irrational toddler after all. So there's that.
On any given day we experience a range of emotions around here. Having two children who think they are smarter than me, faster than me, funnier than me (pfft...like that could ever be possible) definitely has it's moments of "Jesus Take The Wheel" please. I wouldn't change a thing. Cause the moments that the girls are lovin' on each other erase all the "bitches be crazy" moments any day. And when I look at sweet little Nola's face when she looks at Hazel, well I just know something magical is happening. Nola is becoming a compassionate human being and to her it's just how it's supposed to be. She will just accept, love and understand. She won't have to learn, she won't have to work at it, it's just happening. And I get to watch. And more importent, I get to learn from her. I can't think of anything more worth it than that.
Thanks to everyone who rocked their socked for those they love with DS. I added a few of the pics here. I know there were more but I couldn't find them all. Every time I saw a pair of socks being rocked I was extremely thankful that DS or Hazel was on your mind or in your heart on World Down Syndrome Day. Thanks for thinking of us!!!!
Here's our little sock fest...
Thanks for tagging us in your pics!!!
Another successful World Down Syndrome Day celebration. Until next year…