Saturday, October 3, 2015

31 for 21: Awareness

For the first three days of October, my Facebook feed has been full of awareness.  Facts and stories and reposts and reminders.  It is Down syndrome awareness month, after all.

I'm not exactly sure where I fit into this all.

It's not that I mind having opinions.  I have quite a few opinions, and I'm not shy (or even particularly socially competent) about sharing them.

It's personal, certainly.  While it might be fuel for some, for me it just makes it harder.   Last month we had our first meeting with the school district -- maybe that is worth it's own post someday.  Let's just say that while I have all sorts of articulate opinions in the abstract, when it came down to trying to advocate for my specific child and the specific options available for him, I quickly became a blubbering mess.

It's also not personal.  I'm not the one with Down syndrome. And the little guy I'm advocating for is 2.  He doesn't have too many opinions yet--at least not beyond his picky taste in food and music.  Any advocacy I do is with him in mind, and he hasn't told me yet how he wants me to advocate.

I'm not sure exactly what steps I want to ask others to take.  I'm not even sure what steps I want to take.  There isn't a cure to find or a bill that needs to be signed or prayers that need to be said.  There's research I could be learning about in all sorts of directions, but mostly I just want to sing silly songs with my toddler.

So to the rest of you, keep up your awareness building.  I'm watching and figuring, and waiting for some piece of this whole advocacy thing to set me on fire.  Until then I'll keep on wondering if I'm doing enough, and keep on learning about Down syndrome one day at a time.

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