If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how outraged I was when the Word Down syndrome Day committee came up with the “Odd Socks” theme to celebrate World Down syndrome Day.
World Down syndrome Day (WDSD) falls on March 21st, which is New Years in Persia and in the Baha’i Faith. It’s also Spring Equinox and the first day of spring. And in this case, 3-21, it represents 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, which is Down syndrome.
Out of all of those cool things surrounding the date, the committee had to choose… socks?
There was an outcry from people in the Down syndrome community and the committee graciously changed the theme from “Odd Socks” to “Lots of Socks.”
They want all of these socks to be fun and oh-so-crazy and represent Down syndrome because, you know, socks look like chromosomes!
This rubs me wrong on so many levels, but simply put, I don’t want socks representing my daughter’s extra chromosome and celebrating her and her tribe through socks does not float my boat.
The money that is now going into sending – yes, sending! – socks back and forth between communities and countries is sickening to me when I think of how little money goes to research and development, local community support, children with Down syndrome in other parts of the world and so forth.
But you know, whatever. Some people really want to do the sock thing. Go for it.
But I won’t be one of them.
I’m going to celebrate my daughter and her tribe this World Down syndrome Day in two ways:
1. Random Acts of Kindness
This is where you practice a suggested 1-3 random acts of kindness, helping to spread love and kindness in honor of everyone with Down syndrome.
How it works:
- On March 21st, wear your favorite shirt that celebrates our Down syndrome community.
- Choose an act of kindness. Or three!
- Have a World Down Syndrome Day postcard printed out if you can, and give it out with the Random Act of Kindness.
- Take pictures of your random acts and post them on social media pages with the hashtag #WDSD15.
The NDSC has a great little guide on this, along with ideas. Check it out here.
2. A Day in the Life with Down syndrome
This is a project that I started and I am absolutely thrilled that the Down syndrome Diagnosis Network is now partnering with me on.
The goal of the project is to celebrate a life that is lived with Down syndrome by actually showing what a life lived with Down syndrome is like.
People can write their own blog posts (- and do not need a blog to participate – they can write it directly in the site), upload and embed YouTube videos on their life or typical aspects of their day. They can upload themselves singing a song, or just photos that they took or that typify a day in their life.
And by “they”, I mean a person with Down syndrome. The project is geared towards people with Down syndrome to speak in their own voices, describe their own day.
Families, friends and allies are also welcome to write posts, upload videos and so forth. All stories related to daily life with Down syndrome are welcome.
There is an Instagram account and hashtag #lifewithDs and a facebook page that is promoting the photos and stories – it’s all very cool, very exciting.
Check it out: A Day in the Life with Down syndrome
That’s how I plan on celebrating World Down syndrome Day
I’m going to be looking at photos and reading stories by and for about a life lived with Down syndrome, about a typical day in the life. I am going to post Moxie’s day. I’m going to relish the diversity of our global Down syndrome community, I’m going to share stories and photos with delight. I’m going to practice random acts of kindness, going to try my very best to be a relentless kindness practioner!
And I’m going to keep the socks in the drawer.
More on the site:
A Day in the Life with Down syndrome: http://www.adayinthelifewithdownsyndrome
– tutorials on how to write a blog post, how to embed and add captions to a YouTube video, how to watermark your photos and more are in the Navigation Bar on the site
– there is a team ready and willing to help you upload your own posts – go to “Questions? Contact!” also in the Navigation Bar and we’ll all help
– it’s going to be as awesome as we all make it – please share the site, tag your photos #lifewithDs, add your photos, videos, posts!
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.