Monday, October 21, 2013

October, 2013 Down Syndrome Awareness... Day 4

The (wonderfully awesome) person who will contribute to my page tomorrow is so special… not only to me but to hundreds of kids in our little town. She has held hands and touched hearts with so many families… too numerous to count actually.

She happens to be just the most magnificent kindergarten teacher ever created… and yes, she WAS created to teach kindergarten. She has a gift. She IS a gift.

When I decided to ask people to participate on my facebook page to raise awareness for Down Syndrome this year, Mrs. M. was the first person that came to mind. I knew I needed to include her. I’m so grateful she agreed.

She and I began our relationship when Abby went to kindergarten and, after that experience, it wasn’t hard for me to decide that she needed to be a part of Josh’s life. I knew he’d be okay in kindergarten, but I knew he’d be awesome if she was in his corner. There’s such a difference between okay and awesome.

At that time, I didn’t know that she had someone in her life with Down Syndrome. Someone very close. She never once said to me “well, my niece does it this way” or “this is what works for my niece”. Never. Not once. To her, Josh was (and is) an individual. She never compared him to others, never tried to squish him into a box and never put restrictions on him because of his diagnosis.

And honestly, she was SO patient with me. I mean… do you remember, Mrs. M., when I used to walk him in every morning and give you a complete run down of the night before, hang around your classroom for a (very) long time and try to work out every detail of his day? I’m sure you wanted to tell me where the door was… but instead you were so unruffled and easy going, making me feel welcome and even needed.
Thank you.

Make sure you grab your tissues before you read tomorrow. You have been warned.

Until then… here’s Josh on his first day of kindergarten. Seems like only yesterday and a whole life time ago.

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