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'Just Be Yourself'

My five-year-old daughter Lily has shed light on me once again with her new song "Just Be Yourself" that she wrote the other day during the unexpected blizzard. She sings of everyone being different and to just be happy being who you are, that we are all different.
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When I decided to blog I was unsure in what direction I should take my writing. Should I write strictly about my kids, or styling and fashion? Should I blog about the Farm or Michael and Down syndrome? Many people thought I should focus on Down syndrome and our journey. To me I just couldn't justify focusing so much on something that really wasn't that much of a significance to us. I mean that in the most positive way. In our eyes, Michael is just love. Quite honestly, I often forget that he has Down syndrome. DS is a part of our lives but it is not our whole life. Although I have decided to keep my posts about "All Things Guthrie" I am dedicating March to Down syndrome in recognition of Down Syndrome Day on March 21st.

My five-year-old daughter Lily has shed light on me once again with her new song "Just Be Yourself" that she wrote the other day during the unexpected blizzard. She sings of everyone being different and to just be happy being who you are, that we are all different. This is something I know, you know, heck even a five-year-old knows. But yet we continue to fight in order to raise our children as equals. I am still walking this rope very wobbly. I understand that everyone should have the same chances and opportunities. I also know that we are all here on a different journey. If we were all to be equal, all to have the same things then our journey would all look pretty much the same. I have been afraid to say that we all are not born equal and that is okay. Some of us have health struggles, some born into financial strains, some face mental, physical and/or emotional hurdles. At the end of the day every single one of us has a special need. Some have a need for space and require more time alone; some people have a need to be shown more love than another. Some people need more discipline while others need more help developmentally. Some people need roots while many need to fly.

It is my duty as a parent to give my children what they need. Michael may need more help developmentally so I will spend extra time with him and use whatever resources are available -- as I would if Lily were gifted and needed more intellectually to stimulate her.

I feel as if everything these days should come with a disclosure. I am the best for the job but someone less qualified gets the job because of being a minority. Or as parents we ask that everyone treat our children that have DS, ADD, AD/HD, Autism the same as the other children but when it comes to school he/she is special and should get special treatment. Every child needs special treatment. Some require more study time or extra help. Everyone has a different learning curve. Everyone should be given a fair shot but I am all for you get what you give. Trying hard and succeeding. I feel what we should be teaching our leaders of tomorrow that what makes all of us equal is that we are all different. We all have different needs, special needs. We are all imperfectly perfect!

Everyone should be treated with kindness and respect. Whatever happened to morals and values? A natural tendency to be kind? When did being kind turn into such a big deal? Having to pledge to participate in random acts of kindness weeks, holidays and movements? When did we have to market and spread the word that the "R" word is hurtful? Isn't this something that we already know?! Look at the words that are accepted and used nightly on television to refer to woman. Why are there not movements to end this type of derogatory reference?

Kind actions, respectful words should be a way of life, of living. Not a pledge to do for a week. When did kindness fly out the window? When did our neighbors become strangers? We have come to live in a society when we stop to let someone go in traffic the car behind us is honking and flipping us off within mere seconds of a break light. We have become a selfish nation. People have stopped smiling at each other and holding doors. A sense of moral obligation to help those in need has now either become governmental rule or reward thru tax deductions and laws. As mentioned earlier, we are all on a different journey. Those that want to help will. Our words and actions come from within; our foundation that was built by parents, caregivers, and teachers. The place within us that grows stronger by reading, inquiring, learning, experiencing. This is a place that cannot be told how to act, it learns by seeing and doing. Change takes place at home. As parents/ teachers we should be leading a life of example.

What's good for my children is being recognized as who they are, not what they have. Michael has Down syndrome. Mack has asthma and Lily is overly emotional with a huge heart. (She must get that from her mommy).

Many fight for equality when we should be fighting for acceptance. When we genuinely accept each other's differences, understand everyone has special needs we can appreciate the true beauty of a person and then can be seen as equals.

We are all given a different beat to walk to, a different melody to hum, and a different rhythm to dance to. But every song is beautiful!