I am pleased to invite Julie B. Cevallos, Vice President of Marketing for the National Down Syndrome Society and proud mommy to guest blog on Acting Balanced today in honor of World Down Syndrome Day.
Nina will soon have her first day of pre-school at age 2 and a half! A full day with her class of both typical kids and kids with special needs, at the same school where her brother will be attending first grade. I know she will love it- she's so ready!
I had to fill out a form listing her favorite things and this is what I said: "She loves music, dancing, pretend play with her bear, books, coloring, Signing Time videos, and playing with her brother. I think she's ready for the first day because she knows all the words and signs from her 'Welcome to School' Signing Time video- 'school,' 'backpack,' 'write,' 'read,' 'crayon,' etc... And she yells them while signing them."
When I go out with her on weekends, because I work full-time, people come up and introduce themselves to me saying "You are Nina's mom, I know her from the library, (or the Little Gym) she's such a joy, she enjoys it so much and is in the middle and up front, I wish my child was more like her, more outgoing!" I almost don't know what to say- I feel like a local celebrity, so I thank them for saying hello and for enjoying her company. I know her enthusiasm is infectious, as is her smile and giggle- especially when brought on by her brother.
I was meant to be her mom, and her to be my daughter. She was born 2 weeks early on my 35th birthday. I told the nurses "she's stealing my birthday"- but I love that we share that special day. The next day I was told she has Down syndrome, and I didn't believe anything could be "wrong" with her; she was too cute and "perfect." Now I know those words are very general- nothing is wrong with her, and no one is perfect. She is Nina: her uniqueness, her enthusiasm, her adorableness, and frankly, her being mine (just like her brother) - makes her special more than her special needs. And it's extra exciting when she achieves milestones and shows us what she can do. Lots of occasions to celebrate and be proud!
Thank you Nina. I know this is only the beginning.
And I want to thank Julia for sharing part of her family story with us today on Acting Balanced. You can read even more wonderful stories by visiting: http://ndss.org/stories
You can also find the National Down Syndrome Society by clicking on these links:http://facebook.com/NationalDownSyndromeSocietyhttp://twitter.com/NDSS