Tuesday, October 20, 2015
My life with Down syndrome by Penny, age 9
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month—or as the site A Day in the Life with Down Syndrome calls it, Down Syndrome Acceptance Month. Founded by the amazing Meriah Nichols, who continues to serve as project coordinator, the sites offers spaces for "my life" posts and videos written by kids or adults with Down syndrome and "allies" such as parents, like this post by Mariah and this one by a grandma.
The following piece from the site was written by Penny Becker (and when she got tired toward the end, dictated). Her mom is Amy Julia Becker, the noted Down syndrome advocate and author.
My name is Penny Becker. I like to wake up first thing in the morning. I like to get my flipflops on because my flipflops are more comfortable than my bare feet. I come downstairs first thing I see my mom, Amy Julia, and my dad, Peter, my little sister Marilee who is four and a half, and William who is only seven. I am nine and a half.
We get breakfast set up. I like to have bagel with cream cheese on top and on the side, with orange juice and strawberries.
At home I like to read after breakfast. Some of my favorite books are R amona Quimby Age 8 b y Beverly Cleary, Gooney Bird Greene, McKenna Ready to Fly, a nd Superfudge b y Judy Blume. I like these books because they all have in common girls and boys my age who do things I like to do like gymnastics, reading in bed, going to school, and being an older sibling. McKenna has crutches because she broke her ankle.
I get my sneakers, socks, and braces on, get my backpack on, and leave for the bus stop with my mom or dad. I get on Bus 27 with my friends named Meredith, Heather, Yolanda, and Abigail, who are kind of silly. Some days I get to sit in the back.
At school I get off the bus and give a hug to Mikey because he is my friend. Some highlights of my day are unpacking my backpack, seeing my friends Toni and Sophia and Phoebe and Abbie and Katherine. My next highlight is putting my stuff at my desk and I put my water bottle beside my desk because of the Chromebook because you can’t get water on the Chromebook. (Mrs. Smith my computer teacher told us that we can not get food or water or juice on our Chromebooks.) I like math because I have my friends Toni and June and Mrs. Kaitani and Mrs. Reen and Mrs. Cohen. We have a mad minute which was adding today. Tomorrow will be subtraction. I like having a project on grasslands, which are tall grasses. School is fantastic!
My activities after school are read on the couch, change into dresses (which I love), ballet, acro, homework, and piano.
Every night we eat dinner but my favorite is a cheeseburger medium, no pickles, no onions, with ketchupat a restaurant in town. Usually after the restaurant we get back late. But otherwise we go upstairs around 7:30, get in our pajamas, brush our teeth, and read. Some of our favorite books are T he Moffats, Anne of Green Gables (but I don’t like one part), and Matilda.
Some of my challenges are backbends, handstands, and I’m working on my cartwheels because I’m doing gymnastics with other friends.
I almost forgot to tell you about Down syndrome. My mom and dad thought it was going to be scary because they thought Down syndrome would hurt me and other people. But it actually was not scary and I did not get hurt. I have a great life.
You can follow Day in the Life with Down Syndrome on Instagram at #lifewithds and on Facebook; use the tag #lifewithDs on social media.
Shared with permission from A Day in the Life with Down Syndrome; photo of Amy Julia and children by Phil Dutton.