Monday, October 18, 2010

Keeping it Real

I have taken some heat recently for my “positive and hopeful” blogging style--either for not being completely honest, or for not having covered enough of the dark side to raising children with Down syndrome (?).

This is an advocacy blog. Beyond that, I don't see a "dark side" to raising children with Ds.  Yes, it is tough at times to parent a child with Down syndrome. It is also tough at times to parent children without Down syndrome. I expect to feel challenged sometimes.

I'll willingly mull over difficult topics or feelings, but I don't linger in the dark places. And I don't focus on them. Maybe that is part of facing life-threatening illness--a desire to live in the light as opposed to rolling around in the dark, a conscious intention to be grateful, as well as to figure things out and move on.

While I love the network of support and idea-sharing that has come through blogging, I didn't set out to find it.

This blog is a way to help others see that a diagnosis of Down syndrome is not the end of the world. It is not a place for me to vent, complain or garner support.  It is a way to open doors for Bridget, Alina and other people with Ds, and to help parents with a new diagnosis.

"Keeping it Real" is the phrase that has been used to suggest that certain bloggers (myself included) are not being honest.  And I am left wondering exactly what the phrase really means, because I think it means different things for different people.

I hope that what people are looking for is depth and truth within reality, whether that is sunny or rocky. We all have a bunch of both of those things--the blissful moments and the ones that just plain stink.

As with any family, things are less sparkly over here sometimes :), but we are truly thriving and enjoying life. 

We enjoy and value our girls with Down syndrome.  We think they're both awesome, and we believe in them wholeheartedly. 

If you visit here, I hope that is what you'll take away.  I can't apologize for that.  That is the whole point of this blog ;). 


  1. Hi Lisa, I have seen that phrase floating around "loosely" too!! First and foremost, your blog, along with a couple of others, was one of the first blogs I started reading when I had Landon (now 20 months old). After reading tons of literature out there (telling me all the things that could be wrong with Landon, statistics, risk factors, etc.....I was more than relieved to read your blog.) What I needed was to "KNOW" that our life would be "NORMAL" too!!

    I completely AGREE with your thoughts in this post. Sometimes I feel like others may feel the same way about my blog too. To be honest with you, Landon is one of 3 (you know exactly where I am coming from) and raising him is NO different than raising my 2 other boys.

    Landon has been blessed, since birth, with absolutely NO health issues. NOTHING!! I have had my concerns along the way (slow weight gain, feeding issues, etc) but nothing that has made our life more difficult. Landon has therapy sessions but Mason & Elijah get chauffered around to their sporting events. I guess for me, therapy is like Landon's "sport". Three kids doing three different activities! That's all!!

    As far as doctor appointments go, I bring my kids to the doc anytime they sneeze wrong (yes, I'm crazy when their health is involved), so an extra doctor appointment here or there does not make my life more difficult.

    I guess I am one of those people who embraced Ds extremely quickly. My mother works with teenagers with Ds and has for over 30 years. There was no "culture" shock here. I don't think I ever went through a "grieving process". Scared of the unknown.....yes! But I honestly do not think that I ever felt like I wished I could turn back the clock. I am grateful for the gift of a child....and a healthy one at that!!

    To me, that is......KEEPING IT REAL!!! It's important that we share different sides of "our" stories. We will all reach....someone!!

    After all, YOUR story reached me=)

  2. I enjoy your blog because you show the upside of Downs. It is difficult to be a mom to any child let alone one with a disability. I think your blog shows the good. I just assumed that there is bad too but it's nice to have a place to come and read about the good. :) Keep doing what you're doing. There is enough out there about the challenges...

  3. Yes....I have heard that term too and I totally agree with you. I try to share my feelings openly and honestly but I also like to stay in the "light" as much as I possibly can. It might be my way of "surviving" and "coping". I know lots of DS bloggers are not thrilled with Kelle Hampton's blog for just this reason but I happen to love hers very much and I was always drawn to your blog for very much the same reasons. So keep on keeping on....LOVE you!

  4. Tell them Lisa! It makes me so sad to hear those comments. Our life is good. OH SO GOOD!

  5. I want to encourage you to keep on keeping on! Your 'real' is just as real as anyone else's!

    People can sure be funny, can't they?

  6. I can't imagine someone telling you to be more serious or sad? What? Don't we have enough of that in our world? Sorry...I enjoy reading your blog. Another commenter had it right, it is hard enough to be a mom of any child but trying to stay positive and see life as a blessing every day, is sometimes harder. Keep up your great work!!

  7. lisa--i think it is sad that anyone would think anything negative at all about anything you write. you know how much hope and inspiration you provided us with your blog 17 months ago when we welcomed miss maggie rae. if you had not been doing what you were doing then and now we may have spent days or weeks being scared...not just hours. but you showed us so much that we did not know through your sweet bridget and you inspired me to start our blog to hopefully pay it forward to anyone else who may be scared of the unknown. i hope we are all helping the world see the love and joy that comes with that extra chromosome.

  8. Lisa, Keep it real! I think your perspective about DS (and about life in general) is something that makes you so amazing! I have told you before (and even shared on my blog) that Bridget's Light gave me hope...a gift I will forever be grateful for! Do what you do, share the light!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxo

  9. My Mom has always said "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative." She has lived her life that way and has been such a great example to me. She so quickly embraced Brennan and his diagnosis - saying we should all focus on what he CAN do, not what he may not be able to do. I try to follow in her footsteps and do look for and focus on the good in life, in my kids, in each person I meet. I love your blog because I know you do the same. You're amazing and wonderful and so are each of your children and so is your blog! xo