Monday, October 26, 2009

Buddy Walk, Buddy Walk, Buddy Walk

The past few weeks of my life have been consumed with preparations for and thoughts of Buddy Walk. Our lives are pretty busy anyway, with three kids there is always something going on. It doesn't take a lot extra to make me feel overwhelmed. I will confess also that I am not nearly as well organized as I wish I was. Tonight will be the first night in over a week that my precious family will get a complete hot meal! It was not the smartest, most well thought out thing to decide to start a blog in the midst of all that. That is why that have been no new posts since my blog began!

I LOVE Buddy Walk for many different reasons and I'd like to share some with you. These are not necessarily in order of importance. They are in the order that my scattered brain right now can think of them. Jordan is the kitchen cooking near me, Jessie is watching tv that I can hear and wanting to know when I'll be ready to read, Evan is walking through wanting to know when the Hamburger Helper will be ready. To top it all off Jordan realized after cooking the meat, that we were out of milk. They will have to choose something else to eat...I will finish this blog post!

Reason #1: I love the feeling of community of being a part of a local Down syndrome group. When Jessie was 11 months old, Heather and I, and our families, went to an NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society)Conference in Nashville, TN. Everywhere we looked there were families walking around just like ours, well, we had in common that all those families had a member with Down Syndrome. It was funny, I guess I had not spelled out to Jordan (7) and Evan (5) why we were taking this trip, and they could not believe how many people at Opryland Hotel happened to have Down syndrome. They thought TN just had way more people with DS! That experience and the people we spoke with there put a desire in our hearts to be able to experience that connection and feeling of community all the time at home. When Jessie was born there wasn't a group in our area, there had been at one time, but the folks that started it and kept things going had moved. Heather and I really had no idea where to begin. In those early days as we met a few families and were beginning to be a group and have a name, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (stands for Families Reaching, Influencing, Educating and Networking for Down Syndrome) as we tried to plan activities and invite new people, the money to provide refreshments, activities, or a meal was always a factor. Without Buddy Walk as a fundraiser we wouldn't be able to provide the opportunities for our families to connect and fellowship during the year with a Christmas Party and quarterly meetings, etc. To be continued....

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