The concept of awareness and raising awareness for Down syndrome has naturally been on my mind the last few weeks. I almost didn't raise to the blogging challenge this year as our experiences have been so fantastic that I almost feel that we don't need to raise awareness about Down syndrome. And then at the beginning of the month a few people posted about not calling it Down syndrome awareness month, but rather Down syndrome acceptance month. The idea being that everybody if perfectly aware of Reagan (or ...insert peer here..), but what we really need to work on is acceptance of Reagan (or peer) as she is. There is validity to this statement and of course as her mother I hope that she is accepted wherever she goes...and right now she pretty much is (of course...she's adorable and charming and, well you all asked me to do this again this year so you know). As I pondered this though I realized that awareness doesn't merely mean that you are aware of Reagan, or that she has Down syndrome, but rather of what that really means. Because truly and very tragically there is still a lot of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of the basics of Down syndrome. And without understanding (whether you like/agree with it or not) there is not likely to be the cherished acceptance. And that is particularly true among our children. Because they can be caught before negative ideas catch hold and pointed in the right direction with facts and compassion. So it was with much excitement that I spoke (for the first time ever!) to the big girls school about Down syndrome today. It thrills me to no end to think of the 103 (yes I counted) children who have already experienced Reagan on the edges of their lives learn that she has Down syndrome and what that means and to actually clamor for a Down syndrome awareness ribbon to take home because, as they shouted to me in the presentation, Reagan is a person just like them.