Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Advocacy #3: Give us a smile




1. standing out so as to be clearly visible.

2. attracting notice or attention.

synonyms: easily seen, clear, visible, noticeable, discernible, perceptible, detectable; person with Down syndrome


That’s reality right now.  Not that everyone in the room notices us, but that everyone in the room who does notice us can see that we are different.

We have run the gamut of responses to Down syndrome (remember this guy??).  Not all responses are negative.  Most, in fact, are quite benign, even a little sweet.  And they bring me to another little way that you can advocate for people with Down syndrome: smile.

Smile at everyone you meet on the street.  Good or bad, rich or poor, sick, healthy, clean, dirty, happy or sad.  A smile says “Hey, I see you, human being.”  I’m not saying you should fawn over every individual that crosses your path, nor should you go out of your way to grin awkwardly at someone who is different.  I’m saying that it is pretty cool if you let your eyes meet someone else’s (anyone else’sand allow yourself to smile.  And though you may think it far-fetched, it’s advocacy at its finest.

You see, when you share a smile with the differently-abled, the marginalized, those on the outskirts, it’s not really about them, it’s about the others in the room.  It’s about showing the world that it’s cool to be cool with everyone.  When you treat everyone who looks a little different with the same dignity and respect as you would that nice-looking, decently dressed human being walking toward you in the grocery store, it sends a message.

We are all humans.  Advocate for the humans by smiling kindly at the humans.  You can’t go wrong with that.

Leave a comment »

Lesson #26: It still goes so fast

Someone told me that I would get a “prolonged” infant phase with Tessa.  I was assured that I would have more time to enjoy each stage because it would take longer for her to grow up.  And I’m sitting here today wondering who that person was, because they lied to me and I want to find them and tell them.

One hour old baby Tessa

IMG_3908Don’t get me wrong.  We are very, very much still in the infant phase.  Tessa is nothing like a typical ten-month-old baby.  I’m enjoying all the moments, but it still doesn’t feel like time has slowed.

One month old baby Tessa

IMG_4347You see, this weekend, a little tiny tooth popped through Tessa’s bottom gum.  And it kind of has me in a tizzy.  Because I really like her gummy grins  A lot.

Four month old baby Tessa

IMG_5028Five month old baby TessaIMG_5426It took us a little while to get them… and now I love each and every one.  And I know that it will still take a long time before we have a full on, toothy grin.  I just want a few more of these to savor for now…

Seven month old baby Tessa


Nine month old baby TessaIMG_6276

Time is flying….

Leave a comment »