In keeping true to spreading awareness, I felt the need to share this post with all of you. You see, when I had Landon I searched EVERYWHERE for information regarding Down syndrome. It is through this searching that I came across this AMAZING community of people, who openly & willingly, were out there sharing their stories & their BEAUTIFUL children. It took me a few weeks to finally have the courage to start my own blog. That "moment" came when I realized that all of these selfless families took time out of their busy days to share their stories, which in turn HELPED me! I saw the good in blogging, and the amazing effects it had on those who had already embarked on this wonderful journey and for those who were preparing to.
So, here "I" am, SHARING our story, in hopes that I too will be someone else's "moment".
I love watching blogs evolve, a true testament to the experience of personal growth. Looking back at my posts, I too, see my personal growth. At the beginning, I was so unsure of EVERYTHING, I was out there just finding my way on this dark path with lots of forks in the road. Lots of important decisions to make. I'm still unsure of things, but I am happy to say that I have a little more faith in myself. How can I not, when my children DEPEND on me.
We have been so fortunate to have a wonderful support circle and to be surrounded by the most loving & supportive family & friends. Our lives ARE more alike than different which has helped in making all the puzzle pieces fit. Not MUCH has changed after having Landon, although a lot more people's lives have been touched by his presence. Just makes my heart smile=)
Although I have found my place of peace, I am very well aware of the fact that we do not live in a plastic bubble. You see, when Landon was born, I played out lots of scenarios in my head. What will I do/say if someone refers to Landon as "the R word"? How will I handle the staring? You get my point!! So, I drew up this game plan in my mind and had a Plan A, B C, etc.. I felt like I always had to be prepared to handle ANYTHING that came my way. Strategically placed plans for each scenario. I am happy to say that those plans have stayed in the "play book". Don't get me wrong, I have encountered staring on many occasions, sometimes leaving me to feel sad and scared (knowing that this IS part of Landon's future). But I tackle that issue with exposing Landon to everything & everyone! I am proud of who he is, and I want the world to know that. I'm assuming that it is more of a curiosity thing. I just wish people would be more open and ask questions. That works for me!
Two days ago, a person that I knew, did approach me & asked a question. The conversation was going well and then all of a sudden, I found myself.......SPEECHLESS!! (I know those of you who know me well are in complete shock right now. Kelly...speechless.....two words that don't quite fit together). LOL This conversation changed rather quickly when it went from "Landon is absolutely adorable, he is truly mesmerizing", to, "HOW is he doing (with that look of sympathy), is he ABLE to learn?" WHAT??? Are you kidding me? All those witty comebacks and all those plans were NOWHERE to be found. It was just me, this person and this long pause of silence (like an outer body experience). I was searching for words but none were to be found. THOUGHTS, oh yes, thoughts I had. Like my initial thought of "Are you kidding me, you are worried if Landon CAN learn? You've got some learning to do yourself!" I made a quick recovery with all of the wonderful things that Landon IS doing. I kept my composure, ended the conversation and off she went. All of a sudden I was flushed with emotion and I could not stop laughing (to myself of course). What did she think.....Landon was like a stuffed animal or an elf on a shelf that just sits around looking cute and waits for someone to play with it? Seriously?! It was in those moments following that I realized just how far I have come. A year ago, I am sure this would have been a very ugly confrontation and a lot of hurt feelings. Don't get me wrong, it did sting a little bit, but I realized how sorry I felt for this person instead. Sorry that she has not been touched by Down syndrome. And that she will never know what she is missing!! I am slowly starting to realize how to pick & choose my battles. As I quickly replayed the event that had just taken place, I realized that there truly was NO MALICE involved. But I was sadly slapped by reality of how some people are uneducated and misinformed when it comes to Down syndrome. *sigh*
I am proud of myself. Proud of how much I have grown these past 19 months. And I must make sure that my objective stays clear and that I keep my eyes on the ultimate goal. And so with this life lesson and Landon in my heart, I will continue on in my efforts to help spread awareness. EDUCATE! EDUCATE! EDUCATE! This is definitely the key to our children's future!!