I Wear Crazy Socks Every Day
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3/21. World Down Syndrome Day. It’s the day we choose to rejoice and celebrate all the individuals with Down syndrome rather than mourn. It’s a day set aside where we advocate for these special individuals that have blessed our lives for the better. It’s the day we wear crazy socks!
I love this tradition of wearing crazy/mismatched socks every March 21st; the idea came from looking at the karyotope and the thought that each paired chromosome uncannily resembles socks. These special individuals with DS need as many people as possible to advocate for them in a world that is already rejecting them in so many ways. Not only does wearing crazy or mismatched socks grab people’s attention thus resulting in a conversation about that special person in your life you are supporting, but it’s also extra fun for all—kids, cousins, parents, teachers, classmates, church families, etc.— to get involved. Who doesn't like wearing fun socks on purpose?
As much as I love a day dedicated to my sweet little Harrison, guess what?
Yup, it’s true. I wear crazy socks by default and not necessarily by choice.
Every parent has had that insane load of laundry where not one single sock had a match for the other. (The pairs to those socks turn into an extra Tupperware lid.) And when you have three boys three and under (yes, I JUST realized this when a friend pointed this out to me a few days ago), you are bound to have many of those insane loads of laundry. When those loads of laundry pile up, you simply resolve to putting mismatched socks on yourself, your husband, and your kids practically every day. So, yes, I proudly wear those crazy socks daily (these are crazy cat socks that Harrison LOVES and thinks are so funny).
In the same way, it’s not just one day that I advocate for my oldest son with Down syndrome. It’s every day. Daily, Vincent and I make sure Harrison gets all the medications he needs in order to live a healthier life. Daily, we defend him at the playground when kids call him names because of his lip. Daily, we work with him extra on everyday skills like feeding himself and not stealing other people’s food.
However, we also care for our other two kids’ needs. Daily, I nurse baby William around the clock (at least it seems like it at this stage) so he’ll grow big and strong. Daily, I play with Brooks and read to him in order to develop his language skills. Daily, I (okay, Vincent does help with this) change all three boys’ diapers and feed them food, Daily, we pray for each and do our best to show them God’s beautiful grace and love.
Every child, typical or not, has special needs that a parent must be physically and mentally present for. Some have freckles, others have glasses; some have hypothyroidism, others have sleeping issues; some have braces, others have behavioral problems; some are picky eaters, others have GI problems.
3/21 reminds me not only of the importance of advocating for kids with Down syndrome, but that all loving mothers and fathers put on their “crazy socks” daily for their kids.
Whether it’s a mismatched sock, stained shirt, messy bun, unmade bed, crayon drawing left on the wall for days, leftover pizza for dinner two days in a row, or all of the former mentioned, let us as parents remember that engaging in our kids’ lives and sharing with them the love of Christ is more important than having matching socks.
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