I don’t mean that disrespectfully. There’s a lot to celebrate, not the least of which is the triumph of the human spirit people with Down syndrome demonstrate all the time. Resolutely, our kids/relatives/friends are showing the rest of us how to be better people. I think the rest of us are beginning to take notice.
Happy day to you, Liam Langan, and you, Violet Ryan and you, Rob Knodle and you Katie Daly and Sarah Klein. I am better for knowing you all.
But here’s the thing:
This day, March 21, 2017, seems like just another day. And I couldn’t be happier about that.
Jillian Daugherty Mavriplis, 27, woke up at 6 or so, arranged for the Uber to pick her up at 7:45 and take her to her job at Loveland Primary School, where she works as a teacher’s assistant in a 1st-grade classroom. She walked the dog, took a shower, got dressed for work and had some breakfast. Same as always.
I will be happiest when we no longer need a Day. There isn’t a National Typical Person Day. There is no Married Guy Goes to Work Week. I want people with Down syndrome to be so entirely “mainstreamed” — for lack of a better word — that they don’t need a day to commemorate their awesome-ness.
The rest of us should have a day of thanks that we know these people. Jillian and I speak all the time about this. The great little secret about having a child with Down Syndrome is that you blessed forever, in a way “typical” folks are not. I wish I could live a life free of agendas and guile. I wish I were as thoughtful as my daughter and her husband, Ryan.
Number 47 has never been a governor on Jillian’s aspirations. It’s an extra storage tank for all her good stuff.
Happy day to all.
Expect. Don’t Accept.
Thanks for reading.