This is a bit off the beaten path from my normal musings but it has been speaking to me for awhile. As you might have guessed, I love to read. Newspapers, magazines, books, journals and blogs. I think one of the best parts of reading other people’s blogs is you get a glimpse into their lives. Maybe they have similar tastes, live in the same area or have similar life experiences as you. Others you read because they might make you laugh or inspire you to try something.
I have stumbled upon all kinds of blogs and some make it to my bookmarks while others I happen to remember from time to time and check in on them. But there is one blog that I have been reading for awhile that I adore. I love the pictures, the crafts, the words, etc. but I also happen to know two people in my life that happen to share a common love that she has.
Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things shares with her readers her life and two way too cute daughters! Nella just happens to have Down Syndrome. My connection to DS comes from my parents. A few years ago they started spending time with a start up school for adults with DS. While I may have given my parents a very strong willed, not the friendliest grandcat, The Trousdale School gave them a whole gaggle of funny, kind and very bright grandchildren.
Oh the stories I have heard! And as soon as most of the students learned I was their daughter, I was welcomed in, hugged on and even had a couple of the young men flirting with me. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I wasn’t privileged to share a classroom with anyone with a mental disability. Mainstreaming wasn’t done that often back then but I have learned from friends with kids and friends that are teachers, mainstreaming is the school’s priority. It also gives those that were lucky like me a chance to learn that sometimes looking different or needing help in some form isn’t a big deal.
The Trousdale School puts on a annual summer musical, I have attended two of those. I leave with my cheeks hurting from smiling and laughing so much. I also watched on with a bit of pride as my parents helped them with costume changes, directing them this way and that and every one of the students running up to hug one of them almost every five seconds.
While my mom has always been a bit on edge when it came to small children (I believe that would probably be my fault!) the love she has for the students and the patience is unending. My dad works with them in Bible class as well as trying to maintain some sort of composure when there is mischief to be made.
And as I believe they have both said to me, it is really hard to leave the school and not be in a good mood. Their joy, love and boundless energy seems to rub off on anyone around. They also happen to love to dance.
After saying to myself about a million times, I finally shared Kelle’s blog with them. I told them all about this little cutie named Nella, how it was a bit of a surprise to find out that she had DS and exactly how this life changing event spurred a wonderful fundraising event.
Last year Kelle and her family celebrated by having a Oneder fundraiser hoping to raise a bit of money for the DS foundation. It exceeded their small goal and grew and grew and grew! This year as they get ready to celebrate Nella’s second birthday, they are doing a 2 for 2.
There are a lot of charities around, good causes that should be supported but I ask each of you who happens to read here to click the link towards the beginning, read about Nella and if you have a couple of bucks to spare, donate to this cause. After following Kelle and her husband dream big as well as watching a wonderful school like Trousdale come to fruition just because one man dreamed big, I have to say, this is pretty cool.
And I hope neither Kelle nor the school mind me sharing about this. I have learned quite a bit over the past couple of years and appreciate that they have adopted my parents. It also helps that they happen to distract my parents from a certain grandcat that might have a few issues.