Sunday, September 26, 2010

Step Up For Down Syndrome

I used to work for Head Start, from 2003 to 2006 (when I had Evan). I was lucky, well, blessed is more like it, to work with Amanda. Despite job changes and 30 miles between us, Amanda and I have remained close friends. She works for Birth to Three and serves a family who have a toddler with Down syndrome. She has shared our story with this family and they have been very willing to help us out in any way we may need (a common symptom of Ds). They told Amanda about a walk they were participating in today: Step Up For Down Syndrome. October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and groups across the nation host many 'walk' events, similar to Relay for Life, to kick off the month. Money is raised, teams participate; teams of families and friends and people with Ds. As I learn more, I'll teach you...

What I have written so far may seem dry, lack luster, emotionless. But it's not. Although I'm good at hiding it, it was very emotional for me to join Amanda, and thousands of others including Calvin's aunt Doop and grandma Jo Jo, on a walk through Como Park. It was my first real feeling of camaraderie. We are a team, though we may not spend much actual time together. Us 4, along with 2 little ones, enjoyed scoping out the event and plan to coordinate a team for 2011. We're thinking "Cal's Crew starring Captain Calvin" or something like that. We have a lot of time to think about it.

The part that got me emotional, and does as I think about it, is that thousands of people gather and we all "get it". I saw people smiling and having fun and enjoying the star of their team! We will be all right, we really will!

Amanda's sweet baby girl. She was so happy to support her buddy Calvin!

People liked the bear suit. The boys' aunt Patty gave that to Nolan when he was born. I love using the clothes again since it was so hard each time I had to pack them up.
Grandma Jo Jo... Amanda and I in the background
With Aunt Doopie...
Another face I love!

Notice his left arm up and the right extended out as he looks to his right? That is a good thing that he and all babies are supposed to do. However, I forget what it is called - three letters, maybe Amanda can comment on it?
No, I'm not neglecting that white tongue. We're not convinced it's thrush (neither is the dr), since he has thick white food for his meals. I just love this pic!

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