April 12, 2014
What a difference a month can make. Not even one month, come to think of it. I brought Jenni to her first Cool 21’s group in March, a bar-b-que, and she was a little hesitant getting ready. Once we got there, she pretty much stuck to me like a fly on sticky tape. The Cool 21’s are a group of teens/adults who happen to have down syndrome and they are the most awesome group of people I have encountered in a LONG TIME. They were so friendly to Jenni and welcomed her unconditonally. We had a really nice first experience. After the first visit there, I bought a large bulletin board and had pictures printed that I had taken at the night’s event. I decorated the board and attached all of her ‘New Friends’ to the board and pointed them out to her by name, every day. She thoroughly enjoys looking at it. I felt it would help her become more familiar with everyone. She was invited to a birthday party that evening, for the following week, and I took her to that with all the other kids in the group (I refer to them as kids because they are someone’s children and are as innocent as children). I tried my best to remove myself from being near her so I ran around with my camera and took lots of entertaining photos. She had a really good time. She attended the next Cool 21’s group and I stayed upstairs with all the other parents- who are wonderful people themselves. I really enjoy these people, even though I don’t really know them that well. We all share something in common. Jenni did good with the group, a bit hesistant in the beginning but she mellowed out.
In a couple of weeks, we are going to be doing the Buddy Walk. Since 1995, the Buddy Walk® has become the premier advocacy event for Down syndrome in the United States. It is also the world’s most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community. It will nice for her to be out with her friends at this fun event. Also in May, she will be attending the JOY PROM. This will be such a wonderful and beautiful event for all of our young and older adults. Her dress is ready, shoes are ready, now we just wait for the special night to arrive. And Nicole is volunterring there once again (she did it last year) so she will be able to see Jenni during the evening.
Jenni’s new adventure is turning out to be such a wonderful outlet for her. She may still be her quiet, shy self, but give her time. She’ll be as comfortable as an old shoe before long.