March 21st is a date I have always celebrated. It is the day I was born, 27 years ago. Little did I know, that one day I would be celebrating March 21st for a completely different reason.
Today is a day where we celebrate diversity, and embrace differences. Today is a day where we celebrate the people around us for who they are. It is a day where people around the world come together to celebrate, appreciate and love people just like my son. Today is World Down Syndrome Day.
Soon after my son was born, my husband and I submersed ourselves in the world of Google, and did all we could to learn about our son’s diagnosis, what his life would be like, how to cope with the initial shock, and the resources available. One fact that immediately jumped at me was that World Down Syndrome Day was indeed celebrated on the day I was born.
Wow. Talk about an Aha moment, a moment that sent a chill down my spine, and shivers up my arms. Just a beautiful moment, where I knew that I was chosen for a reason, to be the mother to my beautiful child.
Cooper has 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, but it is only one tiny part of Cooper. He is the sweetest little baby. He laughs and smiles for just about everyone he sees, he is very curious about his world, and loves to discover and play. He is impressing us every day, showing his determination to meet his milestones as he grows from a baby into a little boy. Cooper will grow up to have the same wants, needs and desires as anybody else. He will want to be loved, included, and appreciated. He will have the desire to contribute to society, to have friends, and to be treated with respect. He may have a 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome, but that just makes him unique. It does not define him.
This day (03/21) represents the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome which is unique to people with Down Syndrome. Today we all celebrate by sharing our stories and listening to others around the world.
This being our 1st year celebrating this day, we look forward to hearing all about how people choose to celebrate and raise awareness for their children, peers, friends, etc.
We are choosing to show our support and raise awareness for our son, and his fellow homies with extra chromies by wearing colorful mismatched socks. We are going to celebrate being different, we are going to celebrate uniqueness. We are going to tell anyone who asks about our colorful socks, that we are wearing them for our son Cooper who has Down Syndrome.
We ask everyone to have a little fun today, and show support, love and inclusion for all those rocking an extra chromosome, by reaching into your sock drawer, and pull out the most colorful socks you own (mismatched preferred). Wear them with pride and help spread the word about World Down Syndrome Day. Rock your socks!!