Today is World Down Syndrome Day. It is celebrated on 3/21 because the date represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome (trisomy 21).
Many people in the Down syndrome community wear crazy, stripe-y socks today. The socks are a fun way to get people to talk about Down syndrome. Chromosomes (magnified about 10,000 times) sort of look like long, fuzzy, fleecy, mismatched socks. I wear mismatched sock quite often, so getting dressed today did not take any special planning for me.
How do we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day? It’s pretty much like most days.
I woke up at 8 am and changed Joy’s diaper while we both yawned. I talked to my three-month-old daughter, assuring her that she was very beautiful and that I would be making a fresh, warm bottle of formula in a few minutes. She gets four ounces in the morning. I made the bottle and began to feed her.
“Good morning, beautiful Joy. Who is the most beautiful baby in the Bi-State area? You are, of course. I love you sooooo much. And Happy World Down Syndrome Day! This is your day!” (Joy thinks every day is her day, but today is extra (chromosome) special!)
I kissed her cheeks, and her fingers, and her chin, and the top of her head. “Who is the yummiest baby in the world? You are! I could just eat you up. Is that okay? Is that wrong?” She just stared at me. So I kissed her toes.
I took Joy over to Deb, who was still in bed. “Look what I found,” I said to Deb. “A beautiful baby who wants to cuddle with her mom.”
When Joy sees Mom, she always smiles. And Mom always smiles at Joy. And today was no different. Someday, Joy will smile at her dad. I can’t wait.
Joy finished her bottle and insisted on having another. “Ah-goo!” she said. That means “two more ounces of Similac, please!”
So we had more to eat. We cuddled, talked, changed clothes, napped. I had coffee and Cap’n Crunch. Mom took pictures and uploaded them to Facebook. We changed diapers. We sat in the rocking chair, played on the floor. We smiled and laughed. We did some occupational therapy exercises. I edited a travel book with Joy on my knee.
And Deb told me to blog about how we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. Well, we do World Down Syndrome Day every day. And we love it.