World Down syndrome Day is celebrated annually on March 21, or 3/21, to represent the three copies of the 21st chromosome that people with DS are rockin. It is a call for awareness, and more importantly, acceptance. We wear funky, mismatched socks to start a conversation.
The first World Down Syndrome Day we participated in was when Everly was just 4 months old. She was my snuggly, sweet newborn. We “rocked our socks” and I shared our story on social media.
I read 47 Strings: Tessa’s Special Code, by Becky Carey to my first grade class and shared what it meant to have Down syndrome. They had lots of questions. They had watched my belly grow and saw pictures of her as a tiny newborn while I was on maternity leave. They were invested in our story and accepting people with differences. I received emails from parents that afternoon about the story of a little girl named Tessa their child listened to, and how Everly had something called Down syndrome, and she is more alike than different. I sprinkled a bit of awareness onto 18 six year olds that day, who shared it with their friends and family. I cried happy tears reading those emails and hearing them on the playground with friends from other classes. This was why WDSD was important.
Wearing funky socks is about more than a silly outfit. It’s about starting conversations. It’s about spreading hope and acceptance to new generations. It’s about Everly and her homies with extra chromies. We’re investing in their future and shaping their present with love.
This is our third year participating in World Down Syndrome Day. Everly is now a spunky 2 year old with loads of determination and sass. This year we will be rocking our socks and posting our pictures with #MyFriendsMyCommunity to join the movement. Please join us in this conversation; our children depend on it.