That would be three 21st chromosomes. Because that is the magical genetic combination that brought us our Layna Dawn. I’ve written about Down Syndrome a lot but I’m not sure if I’ve ever written about one of the most profound things that my child with Down Syndrome has taught me…are you ready?…prepare to be knocked flat…ok…People with Down Syndrome are actual people. Gasp! I know, right?! At Naomi’s party I didn’t even think to give Layna a turn playing “pin the nose on Flynn Ryder” but that was a mistake. She insisted, not just on being allowed to put a nose on, but on being spun around blind folded. You know, because she was a two year old who would not be left out. In her church class the kids get to take turns picking which song to sing, and I was curious what would happen when they told her it was her turn. Well she hopped right up, picked a song, sang/signed it with everyone and that sat back down in her seat. You know, because she is a professional nursery kid. One day I was doing laundry, moving it from the washer to the dryer, and she came over and wanted to help me. She is now my laundry buddy. You know, because she wants, needs, and deserves to have meaningful work to do. Did I mention she is our expert diaper thow-er away-er? and our scripture reading reminder-er? and all around awesome toddler kid? Because of her I realized that the people asking for money on street corners are people too. Old people, especially the really weird looking ones, are people too. She continues to teach me that people need love, not pity. They need purpose and work to do, not excuses. They need to dance and be silly, and to wear that plaid shirt and polka dot shorts. So here’s to celebrating everyone who could use a little extra chromosome 21 in their lives.
We didn’t decide to cut her hair because of today, it was just time. I cried.
Ok so in the spirit of full disclosure I’ll tell you a secret. At first I didn’t want to post the picture on the left. She is making a very “typical Down’s” face. I finally told the voice in my head that said I shouldn’t post it to shut up. I needed to post it because 1) it is the only one I have where you can read her shirt (thanks Grandma and Gramps! its perfect) and 2) who cares if she looks like she is a typical Down’s kid…at least she is in very good company.
And that whole needing purpose and being able to contribute thing? She doesn’t have any way to understand what is going to happen with her hair. This is more for me. But I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I realized I didn’t have another bald baby on my hands. Layna will help make a small difference for some fellow person out there, just for existing, just for being her own perfect self. And I’m thinking that might just be the story of her life.