There’s a short film making its way across Facebook-land this week entitled “So Much Yellow”. If you are a parent of a child with Down syndrome, it’s hard to watch. Set in the 60’s, it’s the story of a family making the decision to send their baby boy with Down syndrome away to an institution. Narrated by his older sister, it’s a short snapshot into that life-changing choice. Not so long ago, that was the choice many parents made for their son or daughter born with an extra chromosome.
For me, it was hard to read all the emotions of the mother. She was angry. And sad. Who knows the pressures that were put on families to make that decision 50 years ago. Doctors advising it, probably extended family and community as well. “For the best”, of course.
But then slowly, parents started deciding that “No, I’m keeping my baby”! Mindsets began to change and support grew, most likely led by mothers who wanted better for their children.
When Caleb was born, we knew we had support within a day. Family members surrounded us with love and offers to help as much as they could. Agencies and organizations were in place that could help give us, and Caleb, the tools we all needed to move forward and help him grow. Still today, our community grows bigger and stronger.
I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like to have a baby with Ds in a different era. I can’t know the pain mothers went through in deciding to leave their child in an institution. I just thank God for everything we have today, and the inspiration it gives me to keep working harder for even more opportunities, and better circumstances, for our children. Parents can make huge change happen. Proud to be part of #theluckyfew in today’s era. 💙💛
#tbt#somuchyellowfilm#advocacy#downsyndrome#calebscrew 💙💛 #igersjax#iamable#dsdn#changingthefaceofbeauty @ericaoherica
As school begins for many students in our area tomorrow (Caleb starts back on Tuesday), I changed my FB profile pic to this reminder.
Kindness doesn’t cost anything more than a second to show a smile, a minute for helping hand, an hour to volunteer to read with students. This world is pretty tough these days. Kids are bombarded with negative and misleading messages all day long. Wouldn’t it be great if they heard positive statements and encouragement instead? Make a pledge in your heart to do this and see how you can help impact your circle for the better. It just takes one person to lead the way.
#kindnessmatters#bekind#backtoschool#nobullying#beafriend#calebscrew 💙💛 #specialeducation#iamable#igersjax#dsdn#changingthefaceofbeauty @oldnavy @changingthefaceofbeauty #kidsofinstagram
Red carpets, limo rides, pretty ladies - this kid was living his best life last night at @campiamspecial ‘s “Night of Stars”!! What a fantastic opportunity to say “thank you” to so many camp volunteers, donors and staff. One camper’s mom gave an excellent speech last night, sharing what an impact Camp has made on their lives. Not only her daughter with Down syndrome, but she and her other daughters as well. So true! Camp is such a special place that we look forward to each year, with such dedicated individuals and Love everywhere you look. Such great friendships are formed, for many years to come. Special thanks to one.amazing.lady in Ms Rebecca, whose gifts, talents and love shine through in all she does to make everyone’s experience the best it can be. We love you!! ❤️❤️❤️
.tie: @madisonstreetleather .socks: @johnscrazysocks .👓: @jonaspauleyewear .duds: @dockerskhakis .
.#campiamspecial#nightofstars#redcarpet#limos#girls#paparazzi#modellife#livinghisbestlife#igersjax#calebscrew 💙💛 #kidsofinstagram#kidsfashion#boysfashion#iamable#changingthefaceofbeauty
I posted an article on my FB yesterday entitled “Bring back home economics class because our kids lack basic life skills”. In the piece, the author (college instructor) talks about how students today often leave high school without the basic knowledge of running a household. Budgeting, general maintenance, ability to cook, etc.
One person commented that she always expected that as a parent, this was her job, not the school’s, and of course, parents SHOULD be working on these things with their children. But as the author points out, it’s just not happening. Whether it’s because parents are too busy, or themselves not skilled in certain areas, kids are missing critical skills as they move through the teen years and into adulthood.
Having raised a kid before Caleb came along, we realized that we needed to get a jumpstart on things with him. He sometimes takes longer to learn a task, so any time we had the opportunity to work on one, we did. (Swipe) Cooking, of course, is now a favorite for him, but it wasn’t always easy or convenient to get him in there learning the basics. (Dad gets all the credit for this skill lol). Same with laundry, yardwork, etc.
As we enter middle school next week, our goal is to ramp things up a bit. He’s never had official chores, just “helped out”. But it might be time. Our goal for all our children has always been to raise happy, productive, independent, caring individuals. Just because Caleb has Down syndrome doesn’t give him a pass. Like the author said “Knowledge is power. It’s time to pass that power on to the next generation.” Happy Friday!
#kidsofinstagram#chores#lifeskills#independent#specialeducation#ability not #disability#calebscrew 💙💛 #igersjax#iamable#dsdn#changingthefaceofbeauty#boysfashion 😆
Did you know that today is National Book Lovers Day? Speaking of books, I had to share about this amazing woman we met up with at the NDSC 2018 conference last month, @dwaynalitz . She was working together with our longtime friend and self-advocate Ashley DeRamus, sharing her music and books in conjunction with Ashley’s Foundation (swipe). Her current book is entitled “Happiness - No Man Required”. It might seem strange for a happily-married woman to share out about this book, but I can tell you that I wish I’d had it in my twenties, after a series of “not-so-great” relationships. A wonderful read for any woman struggling with being single.
Not only a gifted writer, there’s not much this woman doesn’t do! As a Health coach, she helps others see the benefit of eating right and exercising. 🍎She runs her own non-profit, Lighting The Way, that works to help the needy internationally. ❤️A gifted singer, she’s recorded in a number of genres, including Jazz, Country, Pop and Christian music. 🎶
Her book, and music, are available through @amazon and @barnesandnoble . We loved meeting Dwayna and seeing her passion for the Down syndrome community. Wishing you more success and hope to see you again soon! 🌟😊
.#bookloversday#bookstagram#singer#songwriter#kindnessmatters#calebscrew 💙💛 @ashley_deramus_foundation #books#booklover#ndsc2018 @ndscongress #women#christian#NationalBookLoversDay
Caleb’s sporting his new 👓 from @jonaspauleyewear - Love ‘em! They have a hint of blue in the rounder frame, “The Paul” style.
If Back-To-School means new glasses for your kiddo, check out the JPE Sale going on now, through the end of this month - up to $40 off!
Also! Make sure to enter their Back-To-School Giveaway! They’ve teamed up with four other amazing brands for some really back-to-COOL products, valued at $230! Head over to their IG and hit the link in their bio to enter. Contest ends tmw!
We love this company and their dedication to giving back with their #buysightgivesight program too. Check them out - and use code “Prewitt 10” at checkout!
#brandambassador#backtoschool#kidsglasses#jonaspauleyewear#giveaway#givingback#calebscrew 💙💛 #boysfashion#girlsfashion#kidsfashion#kidsofinstagram
So I had an adventurous Monday yesterday as I attempted (successfully!) to take two Mexican jumping beans 😆 to the Zoo here in town. Seriously, non-stop kiddos and Nana/Mom had her hands full making sure we all stayed together and no one fell into the Stingray pool. The first picture was really the only one I could get all day of both of them looking at me at the same time. Some outtakes at the end.
It was definitely fun to see people trying to figure out if these were my 1. Kids 2. Grandkids 3. Random children who were walking alongside me. I think Caleb was even a bit confused at times - why is Evelyn calling me Nana? Explaining the whole family dynamic thing is something we need to sit down and do apparently.
Anyhow, we did have a terrific (and sweaty) day enjoying all the new things going on at the Zoo. Campground critter show, carousel, train, 4-d movie, and more. It’s a top-rated Zoo, so if you are ever in Jax, you should visit. Happy Tuesday!
@jacksonvillezoo #evelyngrey 💕 #calebscrew 💙💛 #kidsofinstagram#family#fun#zoo#igersjax#kidswhoexplore
At Caleb’s request, we spent last night looking through all our old videos from camps over the years. Mom and Dad just get to see glimpses of all the fun, but he’s got such great memories from long summer days. Hard to believe we are packing summer away this week. School begins next Tuesday and we are shopping for MIDDLE SCHOOL supplies, although still trying to squeeze that last bit of summer out of the week too. Hope you all have a great week - whether headed back to school or still in summer mode. Happy Monday! .
.#mondaymood#summersend#camplife @campiamspecial #calebscrew 💙💛 #dsdn#iamable#changingthefaceofbeauty#kidsofinstagram#igersjax
1st place Individual Skills! 🥇🏌🏼♂️⛳️ Had a great day at Area Golf yesterday with our @specialolympicsduval Golf team (swipe). Caleb competed in the Skills competition - chipping, pitching, putting, irons and woods. Ended up with a score of 42 and a blue ribbon. 😊 So proud of this kid. Not only trying his best, but cheering on his teammates as loudly as anyone. Good sportsmanship is a great quality. Now we wait to see about State Games. Fingers crossed! Have a happy Sunday and Happy National Friendship Day! .
@specialolympicsfl @specialolympics #specialolympics#playunified#liveunified#choosetoinclude#golf#areagames#igersjax#duuuval#calebscrew 💙💛 #kidsofinstagram#nationalfriendshipday
I remember when Caleb was born, and we learned for certain that he, indeed, had Down syndrome. We were crushed.
It was not a long “mourning period” but there was definitely a feeling of “this can’t be happening to us”. We wondered how we would move forward and when we’d feel joy again.
For us, it didn’t take long. This little guy’s personality and spirit exuded happiness and joy from the start. Always a bit over the top, it’s hard for me to balance reigning that in with letting his joy just shine out.
As he grows older and life gets a bit more difficult, I pray that he is able to keep sharing happiness with those he meets. What a great gift that is, and so needed in today’s world. #tbt .
.#calebscrew 💙💛 #happiness#joy#kidsofinstagram#igersjax#family#iamable#dsdn#theluckyfew#changingthefaceofbeauty
Had a great time yesterday at the “Painting of the PawPrints” 🐾 event down at @tiaabankfield !
Caleb and Daddy got to lay down the inaugural print for Team 7 and mommy even got a chance to paint too. Appearances by the @roarofthejags @thejaxsondeville and the @jagsdline made it even more fun #gettinjiggywithit
A friend messaged me about how patient David is with Caleb and I assured her that is not always the case (😆), but I do have to give him a shout-out for being able to hang with an active 11-year-old at his age. We keep him busy!
Thanks @jaxchamber for a fun morning - we are looking forward to a great season this year!
#gojags#duuuval#igersjax#jacksonville#calebscrew 💙💛 #kidsofinstagram @jaguars #dtwd#sacksonville @_jagzfanpage_ @jaguars_news @jaguarsfans24h #ilovejax
Ok guys, you know I’m all for social enterprises that help give individuals with unique abilities a chance to shine! I want to let you know about this amazing place - The Pilot House - and their company @yeswecangiftshop 🌟
Started in 2006, The Pilot House was formed to offer social opportunities in a number of ways, including therapeutic horseriding and a farm, serving all ages (3 and up). The “Yes We Can” gift shop also came along with the intention of employing adults with special needs. The program allows these artisans to “develop their talents while gaining necessary work experience”, and they offer a number of different products in their shop. Check it out - candles, bath products, greeting cards, dog and horse treats (!), apparel and much more (swipe!). We were treated to a wonderful gift set that included a fun bath bomb (Caleb loved that 😊), citrus bath soap and a scrumptious lavender-vanilla candle (packed by Lily!) All their products are produced and packaged by their staff, and they have an online shop, in addition to their brick-and-mortar location in CT. If you are in the area and have a child or loved one with special needs, check out their website to see what all is going on. And if you love unique gifts, check out their online shop and tell them Caleb and Mom sent you! .
#yeswecan#artistsoninstagram#uniquegifts#onlineshopping#calebscrew 💙💛 #giftshop#iamable#dsdn#igersjax#changingthefaceofbeauty#socialenterprise
Thumbs up for Friday! Playing hooky from camp today. Confession. As much as I talked about trust the other day in my @toothbrushpillow post, I just couldn’t get around my momma instinct about the new water park they are headed to today. Caleb is a good swimmer, but not a fan of big slides. Plus, lots of kids - not just our camp, but regular customers as well. There will be camp counselors there, sure, but no “buddy” dedicated to keeping an eye on him. He’s ok with it, so I feel better too lol. #whew
My word for this year is “balance” and I guess I’m still working on balance in a lot of different ways. Still learning as we go and that’s ok. PS Check our IG stories to see how Caleb ended up spending some of his morning 😊 #cookingwithcaleb 💙💛 .
.tee: @lovechromosome .
#fridayfeels#balance#growingup#calebscrew 💙💛 #igersjax#kidsofinstagram#boysfashion#happyfriday#iamable#dsdn#changingthefaceofbeauty#choosetoinclude