Friday, October 5, 2012

The Blog Hop - A Defining Moment (Day 5 of 31/21)

If you are coming here via the blog hop - Hello and Welcome!  My name is Lisa and I am the proud mother of Cate, age 6 who was blessed with an extra chromosome and Lucy, age 3 who gets to struggle with food allergies.  This  blog is mostly dedicated to showing others how normal our life with a special needs child is on a day to day basis.   OK so I can't tell a lie the real reason is I can't stop bragging about my amazing daughter.  Cate changed my life when she was born.  I entered the world of special needs totally unprepared and she lead the way without missing a beat.  I've learned so much from her and continue to every day.

If you are one of my regular readers let me explain "The Blog Hop".
The Blog Hop is hosted by a fellow DS Blogger Momma from "With A Little Moxie".  This description is an except from her:

First things first: What is a Blog Hop?
A blog hop is when bloggers enter their url and blog name in a “linky”, which comes up as a collected list. From there, bloggers click and follow other members on the list to read their posts.
  A blog hop is a pretty fantastic way of meeting new bloggers, connecting with friends from your niche.
Each time she hosts a blog hop she provides an optional prompt to get other bloggers thinking.  For this first blog hop for October she suggested two options - re-post a favorite from the first week of 31 for 21 or think about the topic "A Defining Moment".  The minute I read the second option I thought of my post from Cate's kindergarten graduation so I'm going to re-post that here for this blog hop.  This was a defining moment for me because it was the first time I'd truly shared Cate's gift of love with a large group of strangers.  Cate had been making her own way in the kindergarten world and on this day she showed all of us that she had truly started growing up but that it wasn't going to change her loving nature.  Take a look!  Hope you come back to see me again soon!

"when did I become a crier?"  re post from 5/22/12

The title should probably be "Kindergarten Graduation of a child with Down Syndrome" so I'd fall into the blog search land and get more hits but the fact that Cate has DS had absolutely nothing to do with today. She graduated kindergarten with a regular class just like all the other 5/6 year olds. Not one of them cared she was born with a diagnosis - they only care she is their friend Cate. Don't you love that???

I guess I shouldn't ask a question I know the answer to - I became a crier on 12/22/2005. I never cried in public much before Cate was born. Not at weddings, even my own wedding, barely at the very few funerals I'd been too - I guess tears were just not me. Then came Cate and a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Those first days included a lot of tears, but ones of sorrow I hate to admit. I had no idea then that I was opening the flood gates to so many episodes of happy tears. I still don't think of myself as a crier so today I went to Cate's kindergarten graduation without a Kleenex or even a napkin. Of course Cate had to show me - she had me all but sobbing! I promise photos & maybe some more video tomorrow but I can't wait to show you a tiny bit of the video right now.

Cate's school is amazing! I have no idea how those kindergarten teachers did it but they had a perfect performance of 100 kids. Not one ran off the stage, no one cried, everyone seemed to know the words & motions. Now this isn't just for one song - it was 5 songs, like I said AMAZING. The kids were so adorable as they sang "I will Survive", "Kindergarten Rap" & "1st Grade Here I come". These brave teachers even did something very special. All the kindergartners walk across a little bridge to symbolized their crossing to 1st grade. As they got to the middle each one stopped at a microphone, said their name and what they learned in kindergarten before finishing the crossing - and they did it, every single one of them. They said things like "I learned to read", "I learned math", "I learned to make friends". Cate never did it once in practice over the last month. Her para-pro, Ms L, said she was still refusing when they were lined up on stage today, saying "I'm not talking". So when it was Cate's turn, Ms L walked with Cate to the microphone prepared to say her name when she froze. Cate of course changed her mind as usual - instead of freezing she turned to Ms. L and said "I don't need you" and pointed to the side of the stage. Well, I'll let you see the rest for yourself - turn up the volume on this one and I'll get my tissue ready this time.

Cate's speech was perfectly clear in person but in case you had trouble on the recording she said "Hello, my name is Cate and I love my family, my mommy, my daddy, my grandma, my grandpa and my sister. I love them and my grandparents."
OK so she didn't do what she was suppose to and say what she learned in kindergarten but as she always does - she spoke from her heart. I am not ashamed to admit I had tears streaming down my face (thank you to the lady next to me who handed me a napkin - bless you) but our family wasn't the only one shedding a tear, there were many misty eyes in that room.

How can you not love this girl? She is just the BEST!!!


  1. Now that was ridiculously heart-warming. Misty eyes over here too.

  2. Wow, your daughter is so amazing! It gives me hope to see your girl standing up there! Congratulations.

    I am so glad I found your blog on the 31 for 21 blog hop!

  3. Oh my god... that was so darn cute and I got tears too! So many surprises they bring. Prepare for tears during IEP mtgs too,sigh...

  4. and I totally cried too...first watching it then reading it...
    what a doll!