On May 8th, my little sister was born. She is hilarious. She is loud. She loves swinging. She is my idol. She is caring. She’s a fighter. She is forgiving. She is my best friend.
It is National Down Syndrome Day. The 21st for the 21 chromosome. I remember the day my sister was born, I didn’t even see her as someone with downs. My parents acknowledge that she has downs, but it is not a crutch. My Mother always said, “She has downs, but she is my sister. She is still capable of doing great things, doing all things she wants, just at a different rate.” To this day she still states this, even when people discriminate or give her things without her working for them. She makes my sister independent, capable, and confident.
I tell everyone that my sister is the athlete of my family. She really is. Although, my little brother is on Varsity hockey as a Freshman. My older brother went to state multiple times for both soccer and track. Myself, a Division 1 athlete. She is the athlete. She plays soccer, basketball, softball, bowling, track, dance, and volleyball. She is always a team player, yet always the first one picked.
Her sports team is also her core friend group. Over the years, they have become a second family. If another one of Jessica’s friends has a surgery or graduates we all are there to help and support. If a family member is in need, we all lend a hand. We understand things about one another families that others just can’t get, because they haven’t experienced it. It isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a fact.
So, today I celebrate my sister, my family, and all the families who are lucky enough to have a child, sibling, or friend with Downs, because my sister truly is a family blessing.