It’s Spring Equinox! And beautiful images of sunshine and lovely ocean with blooming flowers fill my head, make me smile.
It’s Naw Ruz! That is, New Year with the religion I was raised with, the Baha’i Faith. I think of drumming and music and laughter and celebration and joy and again, I smile.
It’s World Down Syndrome Day! When I think this, my thoughts take a turn and become a juxtaposition of joy and pain.
Joy: community, pure love, bright children, a celebration of a unique tribe of people that my daughter belongs to.
Pain: a world that… sigh. Just doesn’t seem to value this tribe the way that we, people with daily interaction with them, do. And it hurts. Because I so want to reach right into people’s hearts and shake them up and say, GET THIS: my daughter isn’t who you think she is. You think she’s retarded, that her life somehow has less of a value – and nothing – NOTHING could be further from the truth.
She is Moxie.
And isn’t she lovely?
Thank you for joining us in this day, celebrating our community, our loved ones. All that they are, can be and will be.
I look forward to another 100 years of celebrating – and more!
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.