Sunday, October 2, 2011

All Around Blogland ...

October is upon us. Makes me miss my Upstate New York upbringing. There is nothing like fall on the East Coast. Nothing. The leaves and their colors, are spectacular and will be peaking in their full beauty, anytime now. But their appearance and soon their disappearance, is a reminder of the long, cold winter that lies ahead. Something I do not miss. 25 years there was enough and my heart belongs to California now. But I digress.

October in Blogland, brings Down syndrome Awareness Month. Everywhere you turn this month, you are apt to find bloggers committed to posting 31 for 21. That is, 31 days of the month in October, to blog each day, about the magic of that extra 21st chromosome. The diehards will succeed. Beautifully in fact, but me, I am not even going to attempt. Not because I don't care and not because I am not up to the challenge, because anyone that knows me, knows, the bigger the challenge, the more likely I am to take it on. I am a tad bit competitive like that. In this case however, I just am at a point that I have to pick and choose where I spend my time. Time, on and time off, the computer. I am desperately trying to find the balance in this life of mine. Something has got to give and this, has got to be one.

Anyway, I will try and  post a few things here and there throughout the month. And after all, since Zoey tends to monopolize this little space of mine here, and she does sport an extra little something, something in her DNA, she will often be my very own, easy to access, always super darling, spreading the love and awareness, post.

I won't try and tell you that my little love is no different than her typical peers. I know we like to say and maybe we actually would like to think, that our children are more alike than different. But for me and my child, she is different. And sometimes, she is more different, than she is alike. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. Different is underrated in my opinion. For me, I spent a great deal of my young life trying to be the same as my peers and it wasn't until I was much older, well into my adult life, that I said, screw being the same, I think different is much, much cooler.

Last week at Joe's soccer game, Zoey made her way over to a group of little girls who were coloring. She scooted over on her bottom, lickety split, and literally pushed her way into their little circle. They were very patient with her and that wasn't easy either, since Zoey tends to seek and destroy and  usually proceeds to throw, most everything she gets her little hand on. We all looked over at her, amongst these girls who were just a bit older than her, at least twice her size and obviously leaps and bounds ahead of her developmentally and we  saw all too clearly just how different she was. But mostly we saw how happy she was, plopped right down in between these girls and we saw just how little she cared that she was different. In fact, she had no idea. Zoey could have cared less. She just soaked up the moments without caring. And although those in your face moments, can hurt your heart, that day, just how different she was, didn't matter. Her precious smile and carefree spirit, made sure of that.

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22 comments:

stephanie said...

Just one post from you is worth more and will raise more awareness than all 31 of mine.

Love you!

Becca said...

Ahhhh, Heather, you bring up a *really*good and important point. Seeing those differences is so hard for *parents,* but when our children are truly happy doing what they're doing, isn't that what really matters? Those photos are so precious. I can't imagine anyone *not*be embracing Zoey into what they're doing, all differences aside. I've said it before, but I have to say it again - she just *radiates* light, like a tiny, shining beacon.

Beautiful post. I'll look forward to anything you write this month, as I always do. :-),

blogzilly said...

How did the girls in the group react to Zoey?

I often wonder where the cut-off age is. There is one. That line where disruption by 'one of them', as a group of typical kids usually sees one of our kids, is viewed or taken in their group setting.

I see it sometimes with Bennett now with his older brother, who is 7. Carter will get upset that Bennett disrupts his group function, but not with the acknowledgement as to the 'WHY' yet.

My fear is...when does that day come? And how can I teach my older son, or anyone else, what this all means?

Birdie said...

And look how happy she is with those girls. Happy! That is what every parent wants for heir child.

The Annessa Family said...

Oh she just looks so darn proud and happy with herself doesn't she? You are so right...Zoey, and basically every person I've ever met who's been blessed with that something extra...they just know love and joy.

I don't think Brad has EVER felt out of place...or felt like he didn't belong right where he was...

It's such a gift really. To just always know you are right where you should be. Such a blessing.

Brooke
www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

Rochelle said...

Right there with ya sister. Last year I almost felt guilty for not doing 31 for 21 and this year I really feel like if my blog and life aren't showing what a great life we have with an extra chromosome in the mix then I have failed miserably.
I am trying to stay offline as much as possible to keep up with my darlings. Hee hee!

Lacey said...

Seriously, her smile just melts my heart. Soon I will bring a little friend who will scoot and throw and destroy happily right along with sweet Zoey! See you soon.

colleen said...

Beautiful child, beautiful mother, different is very, very cool... and those who embrace it are enriched.

Anonymous said...

These photos - love, love, love them!!
And yes - there is nothing like our East Coast falls - full color not here yet Heather but soon, soon. And then like you say - ugh - long, long winters.

Love from the East Coast (Syracuse, NY)
Bluebelle

Justine said...

Thank you from a mom of a boy with DS who is also often more different than alike. What a wonderful post and beautiful inspiring pictures. Zoey just exudes joy. I love it!

Kaden Epstein said...

Loving that you got this on "moment" on film! I teared up watching it happen! Thank you for posting!

Runningmama said...

I recently met a mom in our local Down Syndrome group that has a little boy who is struggling with infantile spasms and things are not going well, they cannot find a medicine to control the seizures and he is over a year old now. From talking to her, I realize that not all of our journeys with DS are the same and I know that your journey has been a bumpier ride than most of ours and I just wanted to thank you for your eternal optimism and for also telling it like it is! So glad we met in "blogland"!

Elizabeth said...

Great pictures, Heather -- and I love how Zoey just pushes her way into the group. She holds a pencil/marker quite well, too!

I have an answer for Blogzilly -- I imagine Carter knows EXACTLY what's up with his little bro and might not have the words to articulate it. That's where you come in -- giving him as much information as possible while also acknowledging his discomfort and other difficult feelings. I think you will find that Carter will be a champion for Bennett more often than not --

The VW's said...

LOVE those pics of Zoey with her friends! What a girl! She makes me smile!

Kristin said...

So cute!

Anna said...

Hugs to you and Miss Zoey from the other side of the country! These are AWESOME photos! (I am hoping with time Grace wont mind photos. that darn older camera- so glad its gone!)

Peter Olson said...

How can anyone not fall in love with that little girl?
Extra chromosome or not
She has the most beautiful smile.
Ha! Ha! :-)
Keep up the great work!

I plan on enjoying the Fall colors enough for the both of us.

West Michigan is almost as beautiful in the Fall as your home town. :-)

May God richly bless your heart today! Amen!

Joyce said...

That last pic says it all...mom get that blankety blank camera out of my face. Can't you see I'm having fun here and you are cramping my style:)

Roo's Mom said...

My wish for a better future is that someday differences just won't matter, and will not even be noticed much at all. Zoey is absolutely beautiful and she has an infectious smile. She will find her way through life, and God willing, will have the great fortune to be surrounded by people who see her charm and perseverance and not her "differences." That is what I hope and pray for my little wonder as well.

Shelly Turpin said...

loved reading your post, as always :)

Cole said...

So well put friend. I would hate for difference to be equated with bad. That's so not avoid msg to piggyback off of more alike then different. The msg should be acceptance. Your heart is so brave and true.

Victoria Strong said...

This is such a beautiful post Heather. I feel like it should be in a magazine for parents. In your spare time :) ... submit it. Sending love your way always.