My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Always Happy ~ I don't think SO...

This is Joyce taking over the blog again. Sarah is still sleeping. It seems she is taking after her brothers. They too slept all day during their spring breaks. That's Ok though. She and I are going to go party down in Columbus later tonight. I'm sure that will be a different post.

Today, Deborah over at Sunflower Stories has a picture posted for Wordless Wednesday. The caption reads: "They are always such happy people." And there is her adorable Sean looking...well...not so happy. It got me thinking.
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I have hundreds, probably thousands, of photos of Sarah being...happy. For the first two-thirds of her life I was taking pictures with 35mm film. It was costly, developing was even more expensive. So I chose to try to get mostly happy photos.
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Then came the era of digital cameras. I was slow to convert. I loved my camera, love touching the photos, arranging them in albums, laying out scrapbook pages in my creative studio. Even when the men in my life were hinting, suggesting and then pushing me to go digital, I resisted.
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Finally, I made the transition. I grew to appreciate the ease of proofing. Having the ability to immediately realize I need a reshoot. I have also broadened the scope of what I am willing to photograph. And that leads to a different issue. The dilemna of editing the content I put forth.
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When Sarah and I started this blog, the purpose was to show the real life of a teenager. A young woman with Down syndrome. Today, thanks to digital equipment, I have more real coverage of our life. Yet, I sometimes struggle with what I put out here. For young families, I want to give them the hope that anything is possible. I want to provide a glimpse of why that diagnosis does not have to be one of gloom and doom as often is portrayed by doctors and the media. Sarah has had so many incredible experiences. Far greater than anything we could have imagined. Yes, she has been so happy.
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Yet life is not always about smiles, is it? Down syndrome does not guarantee happy all the time. Why do so many people think that? Guess what? Teenage girls are not always cooperative. Teenage girls are not always rational. They can be moody, and cranky, and emotional. In an instant they can go from baking cookies with confidence and a smile to ...

Can't imagine what is making her so unhappy? Watch this...

video

Do I see this behavior often? No. But when I do, I am glad. I am relieved. It's what makes her more alike than different. Happy all the time? I don't think so.

19 comments:

JRS said...

Agreed! When Soph has a problem, we call her Destructor and you better watch out. Thanks for posting this.
---Jen

The VW's said...

No body is happy all of the time, that is for sure!

Sarah, you kind of remind me of Gavin before we give him a bath. He just hears the water running and starts to get upset! Everyone has the right to a meltdown!

RK said...

Nope not always happy here either, but if I'm being honest, she is much more happy and easy going than most 2-year-olds I know, so I'm counting my blessings!!! :)

Oh, and let Sarah know she has been tagged on JustRK!

Monica said...

Totally agree!!!! We always joke that Adam must not have gotten the ds handbook or his book was missing the chapter that stated he should be happy all the time!!!

SunflowerMom said...

Joyce, glad to see you address this! I honestly have wondered why that stereotype is so prevelant! Sean shows all emotions, but is good at getting over things that upset him most of the time.

Now, see, Sean would be the opposite of Srah at bath time. He hates the getting out part so much more than getting in. Then again, he's still young. I am sure the role will change when he is older!

Heidi said...

I'm so glad you and Sarah decided to start this blog. It is so nice to be able to see her life as a teenager/young adult. It really gives me a great sense of hope for Joel's future!

Scarehaircare said...

Every time I hear someone mention to me "I love kids like your daughter. They are just so happy all of the time!" I want to roll my eyes (but I don't - that would be rude, wouldn't it.) The Love Magnet has emotions just like any other 6 year old. They are up, down and TYPICAL! Just like Sarah.

Love this blog!

Kleidy said...

Sarah, even though you were having a bad moment, I could still manage to hear your voice and I love it :o))

Wonderful post, Joyce!.
I completely agree, I see Sarah definitely more alike than different. We all have different emotions at different times.

Thank you so much for being an inspiration for so many, for your words of wisdom and for all the sharing you do!!!

Many Blessings to you ~

Beverly said...

Thanks Joyce! We are glad when Noah makes his emotions known, most of the time he is happy but there are moments he is not and that is ok.

narretto said...

Hi I am hoping that you read all of these comments, I have some questions regarding DS and wondering if you could help me out. You can email me at narrettog@yahoo.com
Thanks so much,
April

Amy said...

Love that this post shows the full spectrum and not just "HIGH-lights". Its funny that the general population does seem to have this "happy all the time" perspective, and then I hear SO much from other Ds mom that stubbornness comes in the 21st chromosome. :)

Great post, thanks for sharing. :)

JennyH said...

That is funny! SO true about not being happy all the time.

As for right now, Max loves showers. I hope it is never a struggle like that was!

Cammie Heflin said...

How could anyone be happy all the time??? I hear that about Addysen too, uhm no she's NOT happy all the time either, but thankfully the majority of the time, YES she is! I LOVE reading Sarah's blog and reading her comments on mine, she makes me smile!

Tracey said...

DS or not no one is always happy. Teenagers are emotional bombs ready to ignite at any minute! I love this blog. It reminds me daily of all I get to look forward with my friend Kim's daughter Mattie. You and Sarah are inspiration to many. Keep up the good work! :)

Kim said...

Oh my! Isn't that true! Life is full of ups and downs aren't they?

Melissa said...

OMG, awe Sarah...my heart is aching for her, poor thing!! We're human, it's ok to be emotional/dramatic sometimes;) You should see me when I'm having a bad hair day and I'm getting ready to go out to someplace nice..GRRRRRR

{{HUGS!}}

Lisa said...

Thanks for posting this Joyce!

Michelle said...

that sterotype gets on my nerves too! Kayla is generally a pleasant kid and she sure didn't throw temper tantrums the way Lucas does now! BUT! She isn't ALWAYS happy; she has other emotions besides that and she can be stubborn and onery too LOL

Mandy said...

Crack me UP!!! I love it! LOL
Just today I walking our two boys with DS into their big sister's play at school - one was trying to get away and the other was doing his "melting" thing with his legs cause he was being a stubborn preschooler and didn't want to walk!! Like you say, it reaffirms they are "normal" :)