Today, March 21st, is a celebration day. March 21st = 3/21 = 3 copies of the 21st Chromosome. It is the World Down Syndrome Day and we wouldn't have known about it if it weren't for Samaira. Today is the day we celebrate the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. So I woke up this morning and clapped, with Samaira.
Some facts about Down syndrome - it occurs in one in every 691 live births. Individuals with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. It is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion or socioeconomic status. The most important fact to know about individuals with Down syndrome is that they are more like others than they are different.
Some facts about Samaira – she is now 15 months old and she totally rocks our world, sometime literally. At first I thought she is this super innocent looking child who can do no wrong. Now she has started giving me this attitude and I feel like I am getting to know a new her. Sometimes I wonder if this is what 15 month age group is like, then what happens during teenage years! She tends to be really moody sometimes. She likes eggs one day and not the next day. And now we have a dozen eggs sitting at home with only Siddharth left to finish them as I don’t eat eggs! She has become very stubborn about her choices off late. In a lot of ways, she reminds me of me. Eeek. That’s scary. But she has still maintained her mischievous grin that could melt my heart, no matter what she has done. The one thing that she teaches me every day is to clap. Every time she thinks she has done something cool – she claps. Every time she thinks someone else has done something cool – she claps. If she sees someone else clapping she has the look of “clap it like you mean it”. So now I clap. I clap to celebrate every little thing, especially with Samaira. She has taught me to use the pause button in life, to enjoy and celebrate every little victory and every little achievement.
So here’s to celebrating today. Here’s to peace and love on this special day. Just because.
If you are ever curious or have any questions – do let me know! Changing outdated perceptions starts with open conversations with those around us.