Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Bus

A few weeks ago, a little girl cheered when she heard that Leah wasn’t going to be on the bus that morning.

My big kiddos became VERY protective of their little sister.

I received a text telling me about the situation, that one of them talked to the little girls, and they were all acting like “mama bears”.

They told the girls how sad they were to hear them cheer.

Asked them how they would feel if someone cheered when they weren’t on the bus.

Told them that they shouldn’t do that again.

I wrote this on my Facebook page:

To the kids who cheered when they heard that Leah wasn't going to be on the bus this morning: just so you know, if you were my kids and you did this, you wouldn't be able to sit on the bus (or anywhere else) for at least a week. I hope Leah's siblings were firm with you and taught you how absolutely horrible your behavior was, since your parents obviously haven't been able to teach you this yet. And remember, karma's a bitch.

Way Harsh.


Then a little girl came home crying because she was so worried that one of my kiddos hated her.

Her mama messaged me and told me how upset the little girl was and that her daughter promised she didn’t cheer.

My mama bear mind wasn’t hearing any of it.

My kids were positive it was those girls.

I believed them.

I was irrational mad.

I said more harsh things to this mama.


The next day, I called the bus garage and principal and asked them to look into the situation assuming of course that my children would be validated and the evidence would prove that my child was the victim of hateful discrimination from little, spoiled, mean girls.

Not even close.

A little girl did cheer.

Not the one my kiddos were positive about though.

Not the one whose mama said promised she didn’t cheer.

Not the one who my kids talked to.

A little girl did cheer because she was happy that Leah wasn’t on the bus because Leah sometimes takes her crayons and coloring books.

Not because she was a little, spoiled, mean girl.


If you know me, you know that I LOVE children.

My entire life has been focused on helping children.

I advocate for ALL children whenever the need arises.

From the time I remember thinking about what I wanted to do as an adult, I wanted to be a mama.

My connection with children is intense…

My heart broke that day.

A little girl was crying because of my child.

When a mama called me advocating for her baby, (something I ALWAYS encourage parents to do) I shut her down.

I thought and said hateful things about CHILDREN.


I am reliving this now because I need to explain.

I need closure.

I need to let anyone who read what I wrote or heard what I said know that you did not read or hear the real me.

I AM a mama bear.

I am not ashamed of that in any way.

Honestly, I have NEVER regretted advocating for any of my kiddos, ever.

Until this.

I can’t believe that I was so quick to jump to the worst conclusion about the situation.

I should’ve known better.

Everywhere Leah goes, everyone LOVES her.

They protect her.

They nurture her.

They play with her.

They include her.

They don’t worry about any “differences” she may have.

We have had some pretty devastating experiences with discrimination so maybe I am still very protective of her to make sure that we don’t ever go through THAT again?

I don’t know what my issue was that day.

But I am sorry.

This has been a huge learning experience for us all.

And Leah better never take someone's coloring books or crayons again, or else. ;)

(I have apologized to this mama and my kids have apologized to hers.  They have all very kindly forgiven us. :)) 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Leah Day

Today is World Down syndrome Day.

It is a day that the world advocates for, educates about, and celebrates Down syndrome.

Today is chosen because the date, 3/21, is used to represent the three copies of the 21st chromosome which is the genetic abnormality that causes Down syndrome.

Most of my friends who are parents of kiddos with Down syndrome are doing something to celebrate their children today.

Assemblies to discuss Down syndrome in their schools.

Wearing crazy socks.

Letters sent home to classmates to explain their kids a little better.

Goodies purchased or made with the Down syndrome colors of blue and gold, and are being passed out all around the world.

It really is a big day except around here.

I have a hard time with today.  I never know what to do.

My world is engulfed with all things Down syndrome but I do everything I can to protect my baby's world from Down syndrome.

I don’t ever think about Down syndrome, except I never stop thinking about Down syndrome.

My perspective differs greatly than what the text books teach.

My view does not include three copies of the 21st chromosome.

Or a learning disability.

Or a speech delay.

Or small ears.

Or small feet and hands.

Or cute little curved pinkies.

When I look at Leah, I see my beautiful baby who seems to bring a little piece of heaven to everyone she meets.  I see strength.  I see determination.  I see happiness.  I see stubbornness (she gets that from her daddy).  I see intelligence. 

I see a child who will grow to impact the world in ways I never can.

I never see Down syndrome.

But then again, do I?

Does Down syndrome really mean beauty? Or heaven? Or strength? Or determination? Or happiness?

Stubbornness has to be a Sones thing.

These generally aren’t the focus of all things Down syndrome though.  When we educate and advocate, the focus tends to be on the text book stuff.  

But those things have very little to do with my sweetie.

I don’t want to celebrate the scientific, biological, or academic differences my beauty may possess.

I want to celebrate her countenance and the way it impacts the world, which I do believe may be connected to having three copies of the 21st chromosome but those scientific studies haven’t really happened yet…

How do I make the world see THAT?

When I can figure it out, I will be ALL IN for World Down syndrome Day.

Till then, we’ll celebrate World Leah Day!

But if you know this house, every day is World Leah Day… Trust me. ;)