Okay, so I thought the button I grabbed in honor of Down syndrome was really cool. I just had no idea until this very moment that it means I am going to blog every single day for 31 days-- in honor of Down syndrome! So, I am going to get on it and give it my best shot. Some days it will be about Down syndrome and some days it won't . . . but all for the sake of acknowledging those with an extra chromosome on the 21st pair.
Today we went to a dance at the zoo. The event was called, "Gettin' Down for Down Syndrome". We saw a few faces we had not seen in awhile, but mostly lots of younger, adorable faces of kids with Down syndrome. N and some friends danced, ate burgers, rode the train, and admired the zoo animals. It was a beautiful day to be outside and to be surrounded by people who know what it is to raise a child with a certain set of challenges.
It made me remember the days when we got together as a group at least four times a year. Our old support group finally went to an "events only" format, instead of the monthly meeting style that it followed in its beginning. We had a day at the baseball field with our group enjoying the fenced area behind third base, which was perfect. We had a picnic and afternoon at the lake, a fall hayride and a Christmas party. After a few of us carried these events (you know how that is), we finally quit doing it. We tried to get leadership in key age groups, like preschool age, elementary age, etc., but no one stepped forward. I hated when we had to fold.
As the kids get older, I suppose there is less need for support and life just marches on. Your other kids have activities, and we grow apart as families. But there is something about the early days of having each other to lean on that you never forget. I am hugely thankful for the great moms that I still am in contact with and who have helped me along my path. They are among the sweetest parts of this journey.