The end of awareness week

Saturday ended Down Syndrome Awareness week here in Canada and we did our final random act of kindness. We went to a drive through restaurant and paid for the person behind us. The cashier was then instructed to give the person our flyer about Down Syndrome Awareness week. It was actually my favorite random act. I loved the excitement to see who would pull up behind us, then the joy in the cashier’s face as I explained the plan. As I drove away, and looked in my rear view window, I giggled as I saw her hand the unexpecting car our flyer. I’ve had so much fun doing these random acts, they have been more of a joy to me than I feel for the person on the receiving end.

I have found a wonderful online community of parents who share in the amazing experience of life with a child who has an extra chromosome. These strangers have also shared what they are doing to spread awareness and it is inspiring. I have learned a lot through this awareness campaign and have seen a lot of inspiring stories. I look back at myself when I was learning to accept Ellie’s diagnosis, and it’s strange to think why I was so fixated on what life would be like in 5 years or 10 or 20. No one knows what their children will be like at these milestones, but for some reason Ellie’s life felt more mysterious to me. So seeing other families online, seeing people with Down Syndrome at all different ages has been a great comfort to me. It has taught me, in this never ending journey of learning, that all children, no matter what their needs, will grow and learn and love and live, there is no difference.

I want to stress how wonderful these random acts of kindness were for me, these small acts. So if you want to see what it’s like, try one for yourself, it will make your day, and someone else’s, and maybe the goodness will just keep on going.

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