I follow quite a few blogs of other moms who have children with Down syndrome. Many of them are inspirations to me and I love to see all of the adorable pictures they post. Kelle Hampton is one of the wonderful blogger moms that I follow almost every day and I love to hear about her beautiful Nella and the stories she shares. She is currently publishing a book about her life and how it has changed because of her journey with Down syndrome. I cannot wait for it to come out so I can read it.
I recently came across another blog of a mom who has twins, both with Down syndrome. This is an EXTREMELY rare situation, but I know of two families that have twins with Ds. One of them is the Waksmunski family….check out their blog. The other one is the Wilkinson Family.
As I was reading the blog about Casey and Connor (Wilkinson), I read a quote that their mom put on the blog and it really touched me and made me think. Here it is:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”- Charles R. Swindoll
Throughout my life I have always tried to be a good, kind person. But just like everyone else, I made lots of mistakes and was not always who I thought I should be. I was too judgmental, made fun of others, did not accept others for who they are and what that means. My attitude was somewhat off because it was what I was used to and that’s who I was in that part of my life.
Now I am not saying that I am not judgmental anymore or that I don’t poke fun at others for a good laugh because I certainly am not perfect, but I do believe my attitude has changed immensely. The reason my attitude changed, you may ask? The birth of my son. I think most people change when their child is born. It opens your eyes to a world that you didn’t realize was out there. You have a little being that you are responsible for in every sense of the word. You are charged to raise this little one and to mold and sculpt him/her into whatever he/she may be. This is a huge task and not one that should be taken lightly.
As I have discussed before, I got an added bonus when my son was born because I was then born into the Down syndrome community. Was the diagnosis shocking and scary when we first received it? Hell yes! But I cannot tell you the amount of support and love we received from the Ds community (and our friends and family, of course!). I immediately joined the Baby Center Down Syndrome board, which I am still an active member of today. I also met many moms (and dads) who have kids with Ds of all ages.
My attitude is completely different than it was on May 11, 2010, the day before my son was born. I look at life in a different way completely. I realize that there is a different pace to things, such as milestones. I realize that because someone is in a wheelchair, it doesn’t mean I can’t have a conversation with them. I realize that everyone has “special” needs and my son’s needs are just as important as a “typical” baby. I also realize that certain people do not share my feelings for those with disabilities and feel that they should not be a part of this world because of the burden it might put on the family. It breaks my heart to know that Down syndrome is something that may be eradicated over a certain amount of years because of a new blood test that is coming out to detect this genetic condition.
Attitude is so important in everyday life. Your life can be so fulfilling if you choose to live it with a good and positive attitude. With all of the new people I have been so fortunate to meet because of joining the wonderful Down syndrome community, I have realized how many people with disabilities have AWESOME attitudes. Us “typical” folk could learn a thing or two from someone with a disability. It doesn’t define them or make their lives miserable. They learn to work around it and deal with it’s consequences. Down syndrome is not who Nathan is, but it is a part of him that I wouldn’t change for the world. It gives him an extra chromosome of love, compassion (and cuteness!) that everyone else with 46 chromosomes can be missing.
So as you go through your day, week, month, etc., think about your attitude. Is it something of which you can be proud? I hope so and I hope that you can spread your positive attitude to others who may need a little boost.
Here’s a picture of my beautiful boy just to help you get that positive thinking going!