Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 31 - 31 for 21 Day 31

Sunday October 31st 2010 completes my 3rd 31 for 21 challenge.  I'm enjoying a little quite time as Rex is off to a Halloween party and Riley is napping and I thought I'd get my last post of the month up before the craziness of costumes and tricker treating begins.

In my mind this online journal gives me a chance to share a typical family that has had our minds and hearts opened by a little boy with an extra chromosome. We didn't ask for a child with Down syndrome nor did we choose it we simply asked God for the gift of a child and HE knew best what we needed. Little did we know that we needed Riley to complete our family. 

This has been a good month.  I've tried hard to make my posts meaningful and to document our life in a realistic way. I hope I have succeeded in showing how some days our life has everything to do with Down syndrome, but most days it has nothing to do with our life.  During this month each year I have pondered how simple it is for us to reduce Down syndrome to the confinements of a month.  While I "struggle" to post each night I remember that Riley will have Down syndrome each and every day.  He doesn't get to share it only during a special month or when it works for him.  Each and every day he wears Down syndrome on his face.  I am thankful for each and every person that looks past his almond eyes and sees Riley for the spunky little mischievously wonderful boy that he is.  He is special not because he has Down syndrome but because there is something special that shines when he smiles.  Something in those eyes that screams joy and love all wrapped up in a sly little boy. 

This morning in church Riley was quick and slid under the pew in front of me before I could stop him.  The two older couples were quick to smile at him and welcomed Riley to sit with them.  I'm always a bit taken back when Riley so naturally makes himself part of another family sitting near us that we don't know.  He just smiles at them and somehow draws them in as if it was as natural as can be that he is suddenly part of their family.  I've given up trying to slow him down and really wonder at times if this isn't how we all should be.  Really if we were all as quick as Riley to smile and cuddle up next to the stranger sitting in front of us we wouldn't be strangers for long.  This morning after mass as I was apologizing for Riley crawling under the pew the women stops me and says "oh don't be sorry it was great.  I miss my own granddaughter and I enjoyed him sitting with us".  Once again Riley shared a little love and sunshine. 

I am sure that Justin and I will continue to learn ton as we travel this road with Rex and Riley.  I hope that we are able to impart some wisdom on them with out pushing our own insecurities onto them.  Rex and Riley have amazing gifts to share with the world.  I will continue to do my part to share our family and what we know about Down syndrome in hopes that others will continue to see Riley for who he is and not for who they fear he may be. 

1 comment:

  1. Apparently I was so tired last night that when my brain said, "go check Mary's blog," it didn't. Dang it!
    I've loved coming back every day as you worked through the 31 for 21 challenge. It's funny, the comment you made about this concept of raising awareness for just one month out of the year, as I was thinking something similar about ALL the various things that awareness was being raised for during the month of October. Domestic violence happens every day, people battle with breast cancer every day, on and on...It's a little heartbreaking as I think about some of these things. This has gotten my brain a churning for ways I can continue to raise awareness throughout the year to these various things - kind of like doing your family's series in July. Hopefully I can come up with something meaningful to complete this thought.
    I love you guys - awesome job on fulfilling the 31 for 21 challenge!


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