I don’t spend a lot of time watching tv or browsing social media, but my family does text me links to things they think I would be interested in. Most of them are heartfelt advertisements or programs such as the Down with Disney photo series by Nicole Louis Perkins. Which depicts children with Down syndrome as Disney characters. I was also truly moved by a recent ad by Nike. The ad depicts WNBA athlete, Elena Delle Donne, carrying her older sister in her arms. She explains, “my sister is the inspiration for all of my choices…everyone thinks I carry her, but she’s the one carrying me.”
Many people believe that as parents of children with disabilities, we lift up our kids. But as their parents, we know the truth: they lift us up. They make us more understanding, more kind, more grateful. Our lives are enriched by our children, and especially during this time of year, I feel more grateful for the handful of challenges my children bring because they have led to more joy than I could have ever imagined.
December tends to be a month where people are more thoughtful. Generosity and kindness are abundant during the holiday season. We should use this opportunity to spread even more kindness. Take pictures of you, someone you know, or even someone you don’t being inclusive to those who have disabilities and tag @orangesocks_ in the picture! I truly enjoy seeing Orange Socks’ reach and am grateful to you for helping it get this far.
Gerald Nebeker, Ph.D. Orange Socks President