TWELVE HOURS, eighteen minutes, and 17 seconds.
That’s how much time the countdown clock on the World Down Syndrome Day Web site says there is until March 21, 2012, a day that has been universally established thanks to a recent United Nations vote, as a day to foster inclusion of and human rights for people with Down syndrome.
To celebrate the day tomorrow, my kids and I, along with at least four other local families with a young child who has DS, are meeting at a local pub on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.
We intend to be seen. We intend to show that we are normal families that do normal things. We intend to revel in our joy and great fortune of having a child with Down syndrome to love, to watch grow, and to constantly blow our minds with how much richer our lives are for having them.
March 21 is symbolic: 3 – 21. It represents that our children have three copies of the 21st chromosome, instead of the usual two. They have that little something extra that leads to such extraordinary blessings.
Down syndrome occurs for no apparent reason in nearly 1 in 700 live births. It has always been a natural part of the human experience. It occurs in every part of the planet, which is stunningly illustrated in this video that promotes inclusion and shows the smiling faces of learners with Down syndrome from 68 countries.
Life with this genetic abnormality is widely misunderstood, discounted, and feared.
It shouldn’t be. Oh, it most certainly should not be.
In honor of World Down Syndrome Day 2012 (3/21), please do your own something extra and share a positive story with someone about a person you know who has been touched by an extra chromosome.
Awareness begins with me and you.