One of the coolest things about having a kid with Down syndrome is the connections I've made with people I'm fairly certain I'd never have met otherwise. I remember when Pacey was just a baby I heard from several people that we'd joined the best club we never knew we wanted to be a part of. It was kind of an odd sentiment and I'll be honest and say it wasn't particularly helpful for awhile. But now? I totally agree.
Pacey started having therapists come to our house to work with him when he was just a couple of months old. It was a really intense time, and having their consistent presence there helped me understand him a little better, and allowed me to shift some of the "burden" of monitoring his development. I think it's fairly common for parents, especially in the beginning, to feel like we can never be doing enough to help with development. If we just practice more, seek out more, better therapies then our kids will keep up with their peers. We all have to reach a point (I think, anyway), of letting go a little and remembering to be a parent first and a co-therapist/caretaker second. That was particularly hard for me since Pacey had so many health issues and hospitalizations in his first year on top of everything else.
Anyway, by the time Pacey was three and transitioned from Early Intervention to the school district, I really felt like some of those therapists were family. I still think, when I see Pacey doing something particularly awesome on the playground, that I wish I could tell Joe, his physical therapist, that all his wonderful work with Pacey really paid off.
I've made some other really great connections as well. One of my best friends here in MN is someone I'd never have met had we not both mentioned to a personal trainer that we had a child with Down syndrome. It's funny too because it's only been relatively recently that I have started sharing that with people. I used to feel weird about it, like I was making it an issue by mentioning it, but now I realize how many great connections you can make with people in sharing that information.
I'd love to be able to say that this blog is another way to make connections with people. So if you're reading, leave me a comment! Tell me what your connection is to Ds, if you have one, ask me a question, or just say hi! It would be really cool to know who's reading. If you don't have an account that allows you to sign in, comment anonymously and just leave your name. Don't be shy!