“If you celebrate your differences, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it – through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.” ~Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty
This week is National Down Syndrome Awareness here in Canada and I didn’t want it to go by without giving it some attention. And the best way I know how to do just that, is to introduce you to Krista.
Krista is a brilliant blogger out there who is raising a 2 most precious souls named Ella and Jakob. Ella was born with Down Syndrome. Ella’s mama is a strong, talented, and beautiful warrior woman with an extra special talent with the camera, and a way of putting her thoughts into words in a way that makes you forget where you are for a brief moment as you read her posts.
Her blog is called One Beautiful Life.
Krista has one post in particular that I’d like you not to miss. It’s titled “Dance Like No One Is Watching” and it’s a poignant glimpse into a mother’s heart and her simple, yet important dreams for her daughter…
“From the moment a dancer becomes a mother, they dream of the day they will slip pale pink slippers onto the feet of their daughter and watch her find herself. They imagine the journey of expression, the building of confidence and the development of poise through discipline.
But when a mother finds out that her child has Down Syndrome, when everything is unknown…” (continue reading)
Now, I have had many little people with Down Syndrome come in and out of my life. My youngest son’s best buddy, for one. They were nearly 3 yrs old and thick as thieves. They loved to play cars, finger paint, run amuck inside the house, and eat. A lot. My son saw no reason on earth to not be friends!
If I was granted one wish, just one…I’d have the world see each other as children do. As a potential playmate. As a friend. No matter what colour their skin is or what shape their eyes are, or how well they speak.
“Right now, thousands of mothers and fathers around the globe are doing everything they can to ensure that their child has the best possible chance at surpassing expectations, breaking down stereotypes and fulfilling their beautiful God-given potentials.”
I can’t imagine the battles that mothers of children with Down Syndrome must face everyday, breaking down stereo-types, and changing perspectives. How about we help lift their burden? Little by little, by teaching tolerance, love, and understanding for the diversity that is the human race.
One small but very important step we’ve taken in our home, is to eliminate the “R-word.” It just isn’t allowed. In fact, I don’t even know that my smallest children have ever heard the word. I’d like to keep it that way
I have been asked the question a dozen times…
“What’s the big deal? It’s just a word!”
Well, I’ll tell you what the big deal is. Better yet, I’ll let these two tell you…
““The word retard is considered hate speech because it offends people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the people that care for and support them. It alienates and excludes them. It also emphasizes the negative stereotypes surrounding people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; the common belief that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities should be segregated, hidden away from society, which, in my opinion, is really old fashioned.” – Karleigh Jones, Special Olympics New Zealand athlete
“When you say the “R” word it makes people feel bad and it hurts my feelings and I don’t want to hear you guys say it. Instead, you can call me a leader, a hero, or a human being, but please don’t call me the “R” word.” – Dony Knight, Special Olympics Oregon athlete
For more reasons to stop the R-word from popping up in your conversations, click here to the source…
Maybe for just a little while today, we have helped lift the burdens of so many warrior parents out there who are fighting the battle every day to have their kids included. Not treated differently or special…just included.
By opening our eyes and making small changes, we bring about great progress.
We make it possible for children to dance.
Take a minute if you’ve got one, to visit Krista’s blog and browse her lovely photographs and read the tender words of a mama doing her best …oh and bring some tissue. You may need it every once in a while.
Thanks for stopping by,
~Arlee, Small Potatoes