We are getting ready for our 12th annual Buddy Walk to take place next weekend.
It seems funny saying it's our 12th annual walk when Kayla is only 11. But we went to our first Buddy Walk in 2003, when Kayla was almost 3 months old. This will actually be our 13th walk as we attended 2 walks in 2009 when we were living in Maryland.
Our local walk is held on Daniel Island and after a fun time of socializing, jump castles, a live band, and other entertainment, there is a nice walk around the neighborhood.
We look forward to this time of celebration - celebration and acceptance of people with Down syndrome.
Having gone to so many Buddy Walks we all have a small collection of Buddy Walk shirts.
Lucas wore one to school this week and he was being an advocate without even realizing it. Not just for the act of wearing the shirt, but because when he got home he told me he asked his art teacher if she was going to the Buddy Walk.
Out of the blue, he just asked her if she was going. Although he needs a little bit of practice (ha, he's only 6!) on his advocating as he didn't tell her much of anything of what it was about. She asked him what it was, but he didn't give her much of an explanation. He said she asked him to bring her a copy of a flyer ... so when he got home he took the only flyer I have and copied it. Not by making a copy on the copy machine, but recreating it on a blank piece of paper. He's so cute sometimes.
I talked with him more about it being for Down syndrome. Then he asked if only people who have Down syndrome can go. I of course explained it was for people with Down syndrome, but anyone - friends, family, classmates, teachers - can go and help celebrate.
He did go back to school and gave his art teacher his hand-made flyer of the Buddy Walk and said he told her it was for Down syndrome.
My young advocate-in-the-making!
If you'd like to sponsor Kayla's team - Blueberry Eyes, what else? - it is much appreciated!