Friday, April 19, 2013

The Downs Lady

Aside from "The Downs Lady" not being proper people-first language, there is something odd about becoming "that Down syndrome Mom" or whatever you want to call it.

I realize we (or at least I) organize data. If I see a photo of an otter, I share it with my friend that loves otters. I have a couple friends with whom I share cool shoes posts. My friends share spider posts with me, knowing I'm a tarantula buff. Now, however, I get all the DS news.

If someone with DS is wronged in a restaurant and some waiter stands up for him, I see that news clip at least in several of the DS communities to which I belong. But then I also get shares from many people. Funny, I don't think anyone has shared any of the stories of the adult with DS that was killed by a police officer.

Its just... weird. I mean, I get it. But its weird to just have a bunch of people showing me every DS item that happens across their screen. I feel like I've now become "The Down Syndrome Lady" to each of those people.

Please don't stop half-way through this one!

That was the entirety of my ideas I'd jotted down for this post several weeks ago. And then this evening... it all came around full circle and somehow feels extra right. A bloggy acquaintance just got the diagnosis for her infant son, he has Down syndrome. We got our diagnosis while I was still pregnant, but I otherwise know the position she's in. It seemed to me that everyone I knew knew someone touched by DS. They were all giving me names and phone numbers of people to contact for support. I know they all meant well, but I had to work up the nerve to attend a Down Syndrome Association meeting, I sure as hell wasn't up for calling a complete stranger! (And I'm an extrovert!)

But now I'm on the other side of that phone / web. I've got a year of being a mother to a child with DS under my belt. And this new momma felt comfortable contacting me. I felt excited! I have lots of information to share! Yes, I would love to discuss our babies! She and I have barely crossed paths in blog carnivals, so I was not a friend. I was definitely an acquaintance. I'm so glad that was enough!

I don't feel like I write about DS on my blog a lot, but I definitely consider myself an advocate for awareness! The same carries over to my Facebook page. And if that makes parents feel comfortable reaching out to me for support, that is awesome and totally outweighs the weirdness of being told about DS in the news 20 times every time something happens!

Please, feel free to share with me anything that you feel is share-worthy. And by all means, PLEASE, feel comfortable reaching out to me regarding any topic on which I'm obviously knowledgeable and/or experienced! You can contact me on my "Contact" page, through my Facebook page, or even through a comment here!
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