Monday, October 22, 2012

will you be my buddy? Buddy Walk 2012 Bham

So . . .guess what Laura and I did a week ago? We walked in the Buddy Walk held at Regions Park which just happens to be very convenient to our house!! I had never heard of the Buddy Walk before this year. One day I was driving down Shades Crest Road and I saw a sign in someones front yard advertising the walk. A few days later, I received a text from Laura asking if I would like to walk with her and the team from her school. I said, "YES!" She said that she was ordering a t-shirt for me. What can I say . . .I'm a sucker for a new t-shirt!! On the day of the walk, we went to church and had lunch at Grandmother's house after church and then rode out to Regions Park. I never dreamed that it was such a large walk.  It is not on the same level as the Susan Komen Race for the Cure but there were a lot of people at Regions Park!! I had no idea what to expect. They had a stage and they gave out some awards - things like the team who raised the most money and the team who had the most members. There were children everywhere - from infants in strollers to "big" kids . . .and I don't think I realized the wide range of abilities for a person who has Down Syndrome. In order to get the crowd fired up, they played some dance tunes and the whole crowd was dancing. They played the Cupid Shuffle (I think that is the name) - seems like that song has been played at every wedding reception this year. They also played Y.M.C.A. and that is what the crowd was doing as I snapped this photo. I didn't know this and I haven't verified this fact, but someone told me this week that many children/adults who have Down Syndrome love to dance. Now I don't know how that compares with the population at large. Lots of folks like to dance . . .and there was dancing going on all over this place.  

The reason Laura wanted to walk in the Buddy Walk is because "her child" that she works with every single day has Down Syndrome.  She told me that I couldn't post any pictures of him on here or on facebook but just let me tell you . . .I got some great shots and I have printed the photos.  I have a set for the special ed teacher (I hope that is still the title for that teaching position - if it is not, please forgive me).  I also have a set of photos for the student's daddy.  His daddy walked with us and it was nice to meet both of them.  Laura's little boy loves to dance and I have some cute pictures of him dancing.  I also have a great picture of him with Chuck E. Cheese!  (that rat had to be so hot in that furry costume!!)

We had turned the corner and I was able to look back over the rest of the folks coming along behind us.  We somehow ended up toward the front of the walk which was nice.  See, I told you there were lots of folks!!!

I met some of the teachers from Laura's school.  Everyone was really nice.  This was their official group from the school. 

Unbeknownst (that is evidently not a word because the "abc checker" won't recognize it -- I've heard it before so I'm wondering if I have it spelled so incorrectly that checker can't recognize the word!!!!) to me, we were supposed to wear lots of bling.  Laura's teacher friend had on her bling.  I had accidentally left my pearl necklace and earrings on with my t-shirt and shorts so I fit right in!!  In the picture above, the girl on the far right with red hair is from England.  She is doing the teacher exchange program.  I loved listening to her talk!

There were inflatables for the children and there were food tents and lots of different groups had their own tents.  There was even a tent for information about adopting a child with Down Syndrome.  I wanted to slide down this slide but I think I'm over the weight limit.  Doesn't it look fun????

This bike was one of my favorite things.  This is either a grandfather or an older father.  His special needs son was usually on the other seat.  I wonder where in the world they found a bike like that so that he could ride and I also wondered if they had made it . . .and I wondered how much something like that would cost.
There was also a boy scout troop carrying signs with a picture of their buddy who was also a scout.

I can't believe it - just a couple of weeks ago, I walked in the mental health walk and then the Buddy Walk.  Neither was a long walk - maybe a mile or so - both walks were short because the short walk allowed those affected to walk with us - to use their abilities!!!

I am so proud of Laura. Not only is she working with this sweet child every single day but she has agreed to sit with another child on Sunday nights at our church during confirmation. He is one of a set of quads . . and he is non-verbal . . .and this way, he can be confirmed with his siblings. I am a middle-aged mom and I am so proud of my girl!!

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