Saturday, October 13, 2012

{31 for 21} Preparing for Change (And a Question Answered)

There was a time (a very brief time) that it felt like Down syndrome was a huge part of our lives. Now, not so much. Often times, I forget about it. Kennedy is who she is regardless of how many chromosomes she has. She is amazing, beautiful and perfect.

As I've mentioned a few times, we're preparing for a big move. This is definitely a bigger part of life than Ds. It's exciting, fun, overwhelming, scary and a little sad. It's exciting that we'll have more time with daddy, and that we'll be closer to family. The house hunting process, combined with finding new physicians and therapists is definitely overwhelming! And that part is a little scary too. We have worked hard to get such a great therapy team, and I'm a little worried that it may be a struggle again. And of course, I'm sad to leave all of our friends and family in Florida. We have made wonderful friends, and I'm grateful to have them and for the support that they have provided through some of the most challenging times for us. I hope that we all stay in touch, and can continue our friendships over a longer distance. Don't worry - we'll be back for plenty of Florida vacations.

This visit to North Carolina was a great reminder as to how wonderful it will be to be near family again. Seeing my grandmother meet her great grandson for the first time, and to watch her excitement at each of Kennedy's steps was wonderful. I'm looking forward to more of these memories. I'm also looking forward to meeting new friends, and participating in new playgroups, etc. Tomorrow is the Triangle Down Syndrome Association's Step Up For Down Syndrome Celebration. I'm excited to meet new people, including Kennedy's Internet pal, Ben, and his mom! I'm so excited to have a friend so close, who has a child around Kennedy's age, with Ds.

This all ties in with a question from one of my readers. She asked:
"How do people react to Kennedy when you're out and about? Do you ever get stares or strange comments? I'm pretty sure that Kennedy's megawatt smile would melt anyone immediately, but have there ever been any negative reactions? And how do you/would you deal with that?"

I do get a lot of stares when we're out and about, but it's almost always because miss Kennedy is so completely adorable. There have been a few situations where I've felt a little uncomfortable, like people are staring. Especially when they don't talk to us. I like to think that it's because they are curious or uneducated. I really don't know if people always realize that she has Down syndrome. Sometimes people act surprised that she's not talking or walking yet, and I have to explain the delays associated with Down syndrome. Often times they tell me they can't tell she has Ds. It does make me a little sad when we have people stare at us. It makes me wonder if they are staring because they are curious, because she's "different" to them, or for another reason. I typically ignore the stares. I've only had a rude comment once or twice. I chalk it up to ignorance, and try not to let it bother me. I kindly inform them just how wonderful and perfect she is. I am her advocate and I will always stand up for her. I've also confronted people for using the r-word. Those conversations don't always end well.

I have some wonderful photos from the past few days, and I'll be sharing them over the next few days, along with details and photos from tomorrow's celebration.

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