I got an E-vite to a Start of School Support Group. It was in my neighborhood with moms that I know and it sounded like fun. I got myself all dolled up, made some omelettes to share and off I went. As I expected I knew many of the moms and there was a wonderful breakfast to dine on.Yes, that is champagne in the background but you will be happy to know I only had 2 glasses. I had a great time talking to my neighborhood friends about the start of school and all that entails.This is one of my darling friends that I have known for 5 years. I also met and enjoyed talking to some new ladies. All this leads up to the title of my post. One of the women I didn’t know came up to me and asked, “So why are you here?” I laughed and told her, “Because I have school age children!” And then I got it. I looked out-of-place with these moms. For those that didn’t know me they made assumptions based on my appearance. Once again I realized what my kids with down syndrome go through because of the way they look to others that don’t know them.I realize that I am 20 or more years older than most of my mom friends but this is who I relate to. Very few people my age are getting school supplies and putting their kids on the school bus. So in answer to, why are you here, I created a list of reasons.
1. I had apprehensions about putting my kids on the bus.
2. My baby was going to high school for the first time. Some moms there were worried about their kids starting kindergarten or the first grade. It’s the same type of concern.
3. Sam was stressed about starting school and asked me if there were bullies at school. One mom’s child had a stomach ache every day and didn’t want to go to school
4. Scheduling car pools and after school activities gets complicated and I always like to hear how others do it.
5. I enjoy talking to other mothers after I have talked to mostly my kids all day long.
6. I hoped to learn from the insights of these moms.
7. Perhaps sharing some of what I have learned through the years would help some of the moms.
8. I like being part of the group.
9. Who doesn’t like a great champagne breakfast?
Look back through that list and see how the same reasons apply to our kids with down syndrome. They get apprehensive, stressed and concerned just like all other kids going to school. They enjoy talking to others, learning new things and sharing what they know. They certainly like being part of a group and eating a great breakfast with that group. This is why inclusion is so important. People need to realize that our kids are just like everyone else in most situations.
The simple answer to, so why are you here, is this: THIS IS WHERE WE BELONG even if we look different from everyone else in the group!