Emily was SO excited when we hit New Year and entered 2013. You see 2013 is a big year for Emily. 2013 is the year that Emily has her 21st birthday and boy does she want a party!
Emily is a bit of a party girl; she loves to sing, she loves to dance, she loves to eat a buffet (several times if left to her own devices - what is it with Scotch eggs?) She's got it all planned out - the hotel, the guest list, the format - all she has to do is wait until August.............and that's the hard bit. But then we all get a little impatient don't we? When we plan something we can't wait for it to come around, whether it's a birthday party, a holiday, a night out with friends.........but I've learned that there are some things which we value more when we have had to wait for it to come around.
Now, I'm new to the whole blogging and social media thing. It's going to take me some time to find my feet and make this thing look as good as it could look - or perhaps this is as good as it gets! But I have been so encouraged looking at other blogs, at websites, sharing dialogue through Twitter; encouraged to hear from other parents and carers; encouraged to find that there are so many other parents who want to make a difference; encouraged to see how people from different walks of life, different backgrounds, different parts of the country and the world are linking up, helping each other through, joining hands and standing together so that people with Down's syndrome get a voice.
When Emily was born we didn't have the internet (How old does that make me feel!) Information was hard to come by (up to date information at least), linking up with other parents was either by chance or through Miss Marple-esque detective work. It was a different world. But it's been worth the wait. I see a new generation of parents rising up, taking action, speaking out to make the world a better place for everyone with Down's syndrome. This is fantastic to see.
There is power in our collective voice. When we stand together, speak out together, encourage one another, build relationships and friendships in unity and agreement for a cause so much bigger than ourselves, there is the potential for us to change the world for our children and for people everywhere who have Down's syndrome.
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
- Helen Keller
The key is patience. There WILL be times when we get frustrated. There WILL be times when we get disheartened. There WILL be times when we think that the battle is too hard, the road too long and the mountain too high.......... But if we choose to be patient, determine to seek out people to help us, share our successes AND our challenges, if we allow our frustration, our disappointment and our anger to be channelled positively into action, we can change the world! We can! It might not happen overnight, it might not happen in a school term, it might not happen without a fight but it could happen if we don't give up and we encourage one another.
Numerous times in the past 20 years we have heard the words "we can't do that I'm afraid, it's never been done before" - to which our usual answer was "well somebody's got to be first so it might as well be Emily".
Emily has been a bit of a pioneer in Rotherham. Your children can be pioneers too. Don't settle for what others say can't be done - somebody has to be the first to walk a path so that others may follow. I sense we now have a generation of parents who will empower our children to be pioneers throughout our land, changing perceptions, changing mindsets and seeing favour in every area of their lives.
May your 2013 be amazing!..........The best is yet to come!
|Emily on her way to her High School Prom|
The Snow Queen