Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why is Lucy different?

At the Buddy Walk I overhead a kid ask their parent, "why is Lucy special?" The child was quickly pulled aside and shhhhed. I smiled, because I love having those conversations and I love those innocent questions. Those looks they give when they realize Lucy is 7. Simon is so interested in the fact that he is younger but taller. Lucy is growing up and so are her friends and I've began to wonder what questions they are asking their parents and since I've had 7 years to think about how I respond, I wondered if I could help in any way.

What is down syndrome? When Lucy was growing in my belly her body formed differently. I like to think that nothing went "wrong," it's just different. I wasn't sick and neither was she. We were lucky and Lucy entered this world completely healthy.

Because her body is formed differently she has to work harder for things that come easy to us. She had to work harder to learn to walk, eat, and talk. She has to work harder to learn things that are easier for us to learn. It takes a lot of practice to get something right.

But somethings aren't different.. She loves princesses and dancing. Loves to help me cook and set the table. She wants to do things for herself. She likes to pick out her own clothes and likes her nails painted. She loves to play pretend. She's doesn't like Dora as much as she used to. Her new favorite movie is Annie.

We do things like the Buddy Walk to show Lucy and others who have down syndrome that we love them and we are so proud of how hard they work. We value what they have to offer even when the world doesn't.  The Buddy Walk shows the world that it's ok to be different. Different is something that we don't have to hide. She can be celebrated.