31 for 21 has come to an end, my friends. This will be my final 31 for 21 post! I did it, I did it!! I wrote every day for the month of October to promote awareness about Down syndrome. I can’t think of a better way to end 31 for 21 than to tell you what happened while I was at Target today.
I was getting some groceries from Target earlier today. Normally, I would take Austin with me because he loves to get out! However, I decided it would be best if he stayed at home with Daddy since it was so close to his lunch time and I try to avoid meltdowns at all times. As I was coming out of the cracker aisle, I saw a woman pushing a basket. Inside of the basket was a beautiful little girl with an extra chromosome…just like my Austin. I’ve heard a lot of my friends in the Down syndrome community say that they’ve “stalked” or “followed” a family that has a child with Down syndrome around the store. Well, this was my first encounter and I’d like to think all of you veteran parents would be proud. I tried not to make it obvious, but when she went into the lunch meat section, so did I. I had to build up my courage, because you never know how people will react. Maybe she didn’t want to be talked to? As I was thinking about it…they left and turned down another aisle. Well, like a true stalker, I followed them. I walked down the aisle and said, “hi” to the little girl. She smiled her beautiful smile and said, “hi” back to me. Her mother looked at me and smiled and that’s when I said, “I have a son that’s beautiful just like your sweet daughter.” We talked for about 5 minutes. She said that her daughter’s name is Katie, but Katie was being shy and wasn’t feeling well due to an ear infection that she‘s getting over. Katie is 8 years old and is reading, writing, adding and subtracting with the best of them. She said that Katie does everything “typical” kids do, but at her own pace. She asked about Austin and of course, I gushed and bragged about what a blessing he is. It turns out Katie and Austin have the same Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. K. It wasn’t too surprising to learn this because Dr. K is the best of the best! We talked for a while and it was so refreshing to see that Katie is doing most things that other 8 year olds are doing. Katie was so sweet and beautiful. I’m definitely glad that I took a chance and talked to them. I just wish I would’ve had Austin with me, but I know he’ll have the chance to meet several other kids and people with Down syndrome in the future.
The Buddy Walk is in ONE WEEK! We are so excited and pumped! Austin’s also having pictures taken the day before the Buddy Walk. I pray he’s in a great mood and cooperates. I’m sure our photographer will have a few tricks up her sleeve, at least I hope so.
I still be writing in my blog, but not every day. I think 31 for 21 has been helpful in reminding me to update my blog more often.
Happy Halloween. Be safe.