It is strange, but I often forget that Nicholas has Down syndrome, which is why I haven’t blogged in a while. To me, he is just my son, who is loved by everyone. Yes, I see him as different, but in a good way. It’s like ordering vanilla ice cream and finding out that someone accidentally dropped a bunch of chocolate chips in it. It isn’t the dessert that I ordered, it’s way better, and I feel lucky to have it.
As the school year is fast approaching, I have started to think about going back to school. It made me think of what it will be like when Nicholas is getting ready to go to school. I can imagine us shopping for supplies, getting him a backpack, and watching him catch the bus.
I worry a lot about Nicholas going to school, interacting with peers, and having friendships. Of course, I will always worry about him being left out, but it’s hard for me to imagine that this early since, at this stage, he is surrounded by people who constantly want to see him.
I noticed that there aren’t many children’s books that include children with Down syndrome as their main characters, which is a shame. I actually saw a statistic that in 2017 a child with a disability appeared in only 21 picture books, and only 2 of them were main characters. Nicholas should be able to see himself as a hero in stories too.
Then, I realized that at this stage of his life, Nicholas doesn’t know that he has Down syndrome. He just knows that he is an extremely loved and happy little boy. I can’t wait to tell him how special he is!
While I continued to search for more books that feature children with disabilities, this amazing company called Penwizard was kind enough to send Nicholas a personalized book called “Nicholas and Peppa go to school.” It is based on the ever famous “Peppa Pig” series.
I love anything customized, so I love getting this kind of stuff. But as a mom of a special boy, I look a lot closer at the things I expose my son to. I do not want him to be ashamed of being “different”, I want him to be proud of it. I want him to know that everyone has differences, and the differences are what make us unique. So, when I opened the book, I was pretty happy.
Look at the students in the classroom. There is not a single student that is the same animal as the other. They are all different, even the teacher! They are all playing together even though there are animals from different parts of the world!
These are the kinds of things I want Nicholas to see as normal, that no two people are the same. There is no mold for him to fit into, and why would he want to try?!
I know this might seem a little silly, but I really liked this message whether it was purposeful or not. This makes it so that Nicholas can look at this book before he goes to school and see that he will be going with many different kinds of students. Well, not goats and cats, but you get the picture.
This company is awesome, and they make personalized books using your child and lots of their favorite characters, Paw Patrol included! If you are looking for a gift for a little one, take a look at their shop.