There is a YouTube vid doing the rounds at the moment. It’s a slick advert, produced by a big company, in support of World Down’s Syndrome Awareness Day (21st March – 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, geddit?), which is very nice of them, thank you very much. Here it is:
The only thing is, is it left me feeling a little bit uncomfortable. Yes, I want the world to see Sam the way he sees himself – and the way that I see him – but something about the vid jars. It’s not the young woman with Down’s syndrome we see, not until the very last moment. It’s a very lovely, very beautiful model.
This year, I prefer this video, from Shabang Theatre in Huddersfield. In it, you hear the real voices and see the real faces of young people with Down’s syndrome all the way through, and very lovely they are, and very excellent is the video. I really recommend you watch it.
I wondered whether I should help Sam to make a video for Down’s syndrome awareness. I talked to him about it the other day, when I showed him these ones. I said, that he has Down’s syndrome, and wouldn’t it be nice if people could see all about his life. He wasn’t very impressed. Perhaps he knows that I am not a film maker, and would be bound to make a mess of it. (I am also far too impatient to spend all that time finding out what he would want to film, and I have no idea how to edit a film or do any of that techie stuff anyway.)
So I will tell you about this tweet.
I did indeed forget to remind everyone to wear odd socks in honour of Down’s syndrome – because wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same? – but as soon as I pressed the ‘tweet’ icon up popped a notification of this.
It made a little lump come to my throat, my eye went stingy and so did my nose.
Because she’s right. Every day is an odd sock day. Every day is a day to be aware of Down’s syndrome, and all the other people who make the human race a diverse and a joyous thing, who show us that, weak and strong, large and small, we are all in it together.
So, I’m not asking you to wear odd socks tomorrow and make a donation, a little bit of fun for a good cause. I’m asking you to make like Laura and make every day a day for remembering someone else.
(And if you fancy helping me and Sam make a film at some point, please do get in touch!!)
In the mean time, when Sam was a year old I wrote this post, and I would be honoured if you would read it.