In 21 days you will be here. Well no, that’s not entirely true. In 21 days you should be here but dates mean nothing to you until you are liberated from your warm, cosy world. Then you will encounter strange time differences such as night and day. You will learn to embrace the mighty sun and welcome the silvery moon. Try not to be scared at this strange new world which is full of so many beautiful,amazing things like music,sunsets,chocolate and elephants. You will meet all the people who have waited patiently for you to arrive. It will be a long queue so try not to be too overwhelmed!
Many lovely, shiny new things will be yours, presents from your new fans. You may think it odd that all these strangers will lavish gifts and attention upon you. But they have loved you since the moment they heard about your coming into being. And once you get to know them, you will realise that they are not strangers after all, but friends and family, some of the most important people you will meet in this life.
Many of these gifts will be pink, but don’t think that means you have to like pink, or dolls, or soft, pretty things. You can like dinosaurs, tractors and the colour blue. You can have you hair cut short, wear nothing but trousers, climb trees. You can dream of being an astronaut or a university lecturer or you can have no plans at all, and just try to muddle through it like some of the best of us!Whatever and whoever you choose to be you will always have our support.
First you will stay with Mammy & Papa but after a little bit you will be getting a new room mate when you move into your big sister’s room. A big sister is a wonderful thing to have in this world, especially this one!She is kind and generous and lots of fun. She will be there to help you and protect you. She will teach you her favourite songs. She has already very kindly agreed to give you all her old clothes and she has some great taste! She will show you how to eat like a big girl and drink from a big girl cup. You will learn so much from her.
As you get older, you will also learn that she is a little different from the other big sisters. She is carrying something extra and it is here that the number 21 will take on an additional meaning for you. You may wonder why your sister is a little smaller than the other girls, why her eyes are a different shape to those of other children, why she has a ridiculously cute button nose, why it is sometimes difficult to understand what she is saying, why it takes her a little longer to understand things.
Your sister has Down syndrome which means she has an extra copy of the 21st chromosome in her body.Whats a chromosome?Mammy isn’t 100% sure but will try and explain it. Chromosomes are part of your DNA, which are like building blocks, much like the brightly coloured building blocks your sister will show you how to build up (and smash down!). They give you your eye colour, whether you have straight or curly hair, dictate how fast you will run and whether you will be good at maths like Papa or numerically challenged like Mammy.
In other words they make you you-a truly unique individual on a planet of billions.
So your sister is carrying a little something extra, something that sets her apart from other children. Some people think that this limits her but I believe you will come to think otherwise just like your parents have. Your sister is one of the most determined people I have ever met and meets new challenges head on. It may take her a bit longer to master new tasks but she works hard, which makes her victory all the sweeter. She truly lights up any room she enters, charms the pants off everyone who meets her and is already a star who has modelled for nationwide campaigns and appeared on the front cover of several newspapers. She is awesome, in the true sense of the word.
Your sister has Down syndrome but first and foremost she is your sister and in 21 days you will meet the greatest role model you will ever have.