True or False: Kids with Down syndrome are always happy

Wil Calendar 2008 004

“Kids with Down syndrome are always so happy!”  FALSE  We’ve all heard it, and many of us have probably said it, and there are certainly worse things than being labeled happy, so a lot of times when that comment is made, I just smile.

Just like any other 5 year old boy, Wil is very capable of giving his big sisters a nice, square whack on the arm if he feels they are treating him unfairly, or plop down on the floor in obstinance if he is being told to do something he absolutely does not want to do.  But, that “happy” comment is not without merit. It wouldn’t be so commonly used if there wasn’t something to give people that idea. Our kids with that extra 21st chromosome are really, really good at finding and creating joy in life where those of us with the typical 46 chromosomes would be hard pressed to find it.

I could site a million examples, and Wil is not even 6 years old yet, but I’ll pick one happening from yesterday.  I’m in our master bath, in a hurry putting on make-up and doing my hair to get ready to go out, and Wil is in there sitting on the floor watching this ritual. All of a sudden, he decides to sing Happy Birthday to Mommy. No, its not my birthday, its just because the mood struck him. No magical drug in the world could match the instant feeling of joy and stress-relief that impromptu song did. And, as I stated, this is only one example in a million.

Of all the people I know who have that extra chromosome, each have their own kind of magical way that grabs us by the collar and says, “HEY, what’s the big rush all about?” They are able to make us pause, and show us how to soak up joy in the most ordinary of moments, just like that Happy Birthday song my 5 year old son decided to sing for no reason other than he felt like it.

So, take a lesson from our wonderful kids, and the next time you are in a big hurry, take a 30 second break and hum Happy Birthday to yourself, and though you might feel a little funny doing it, I bet you’ll start to feel happier. And, that my friends, is where I think the “happy” saying comes from, but we just have it backwards. It is they that make US happier.

Thanks for reading!



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa K
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 15:04:08

    As always, you have captured and put into words what a lot of us are feeling! I


  2. holmesmp
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 18:11:37

    Wow, I’m in total awe at how you manage to find joy in even the simplest of daily happenings, Such an inspiration. Thanks again.


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