September is always an exciting month-back to school, falling into a routine, the smell of fall in the crisp air. I look forward to September because I will have some "time for myself". I am not sure why I look forward to that because truth be told, I enjoy myself more when I am busy doing things for others. When September came along I quickly signed up for volunteer opportunities at school. I am also on the Board at Gigi's Playhouse, a Down syndrome Awareness Center. One of my favorite things about September is all of the preparion I do for October, which is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. If you want anything published about DS, one needs to send out press releases in Spetember. If you would like your child's school newspaper to print something about it, you need to submit in September. I am involved with Gigi's Playhouse Down syndrome Awareness calendar and we wrap it up and send it to the printer in... you guessed it...September. As many of you know, Sophia was a May bride in last year's calendar. You will have to buy one to see what she is for 2008! The theme again this year is "Believe". I also contact all of the local school and public libraries to make sure they display their books about Down syndrome in October. I also tell them where they can get free copies of books pertaining to DS-a local group called Ups for Downs makes them available for free! We have donated our favorites to Sophia's and Mira's schools.
There are lots of new beginnings in September, too. The girls both just started Hip Hop class. This is the FIRST dance class that allows both of their age groups so I am very excited they are together. I find myself worrying more about Mira as I watch the class. She doesn't like to let loose as much. The last time she took dance was when she was 3 and she ran off the stage at the recital. 6 years later, she was ready to try it again. Sophia, on the other hand, is the first to volunteer to show a dance step when the taecher asks. I have also glimpsed her practicing at home-doing the counts out loud like a professional! Sophia also starts CCD tomorrow. I work hard not to get upset with the Catholic Church that they can not acommodate special needs kids in their schools (at least here in the Chicago suburbs). If they did, Sophia would be in school with her sister and religion would be part of her daily schooling. Thankfully, Sophia talks about God and Jesus, says her nightly prayers, and definitely walks in Jesus' footsteps. I know she will be very excited to receive Communion. After Mira made her Communion, it got increasingly hard to prevent Sophia from throwing a fit at the altar when we all went up for Communion-especially if the priest didn't bless her. Depending on who the priest is, they will do a sign of the cross over a child who clearly is younger than 8. One time, Sophia actually laid on the floor because she was so angry that the priest didn;t even acknowledge her. Fortunately, now she walks with her arms crossed and hands on her shoulders-which seems to get the message across. She gets a blessing and sweetly smiles, triumphant.