Niagara Gazette


September 6, 2013

KEPPELER: It's time for us to take a walk


Niagara Gazette — “We’re there to reach out to new and expectant parents to give them a balanced picture,” she said. “We want them to (see) a hopeful and balanced picture: That life can be fulfilling.”

Fulfulling, heck. I watch my boy, so happy to be back to school, so gleeful when he can mess with his little brother (who’s an easy target, honestly), so beloved of his grandparents, so proud when he masters a new skill and I want to tell the world what a great kid I have. What a great life he has (if I may brag so much). And what a great future he has ahead of him.

The Buddy Walk gives us a chance to march down Center Street and proclaim it to the world (or at least Lewiston). Is it always easy? No. But if parenthood is easy in any respect, for any kid, you’re probably doing it wrong anyway.

We’ll take our challenges — and the joys along with them. Life is never boring.

Later this month, we’ll also be taking part in the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk from Coca-Cola Field to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park (and back) in Buffalo as part of the Down Syndrome Parent Group of Western New York. It’s another day of celebrating the differences, another day of sharing the positives.

So, to borrow from a earlier column, if you’re at the parade Saturday, give us a wave. 

I can’t guarantee Jim will wave back. He might be pushing his brother, or chattering to his grandpa, or trying to swipe some candy, or any number of other little-boy things.

But I’ll tell you this: All those people walking with him, whether they have Down Syndrome or love someone with it dearly, will appreciate it.

I know I will. 

Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @JillKeppeler.

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