Sunday, 14 October 2012

Buddy Walk 2012

I don't even know where to begin... what an amazing day!! Foundation 21, once again, put on a fantastic day for all of us who were lucky enough to go to the Buddy Walk, here in South Australia, today. The weather was perfect, there was a petting zoo and rides for the kids. There were performances by a couple of different dance groups, made up of kids of all ages, which were wonderful. There was a band, and plenty of food and drinks to be had. It really was a day of celebration; a day when people, from all walks of life, came together to show how proud we are of those we love, who just happen to have Down Syndrome. I felt so lucky to be Felix's Mum today.

Our day started just before 5am, when that awful thing called an alarm went off. Nathan, Isaiah and I all grabbed very quick showers and somehow managed to get dressed with our eyes half shut. Felix was already stirring, so we changed him quickly and then jumped into the car and we were on our way. I must say that even McDonalds coffee tastes pretty good at 5.30am in the morning! We had a really good drive down and, although we saw plenty of kangaroos hopping along the side of the road, we managed to avoid them all. We arrived in Adelaide just after 9.30am, with plenty of time to spare.

We are so thankful to our friends and family who came to walk with us today. It really means a lot to us to know that we have the support of all of you wonderful people. Some of you, Felix already knows well and some he met for the very first time, which was fantastic. I hope you all had as much fun as we did.  I want to say a big thank you to those who, because of work commitments and sickness, were unable to make it today. We know you would have been there if you could have been, and we appreciate your love and support for Felix so very much. We are planning on doing this on an annual basis, so there is always next year!

One thing I really enjoy about Buddy Walk is the feeling of belonging. It's like a big reunion where there are Cousins and Aunties and Nephews you don't know well, but who you know are family. We were able to catch up with people we have known for years, people we have only met since having Felix and those we met for the first time today. The other thing I love is the dancing. Kids with Down Syndrome can dance with an excitement and joy I have never seen before. Most are completely uninhibited, and dance with such freedom and passion that it makes me quite emotional to watch them. One boy was smashing out the dance moves all by himself, in front of the band, as if he was the only one there. He didn't care who was watching; he was just into the music and loving it! I think we, the general population with one less chromosome, could learn a lot from observing those with Down Syndrome. I know I, for one, could learn to be a lot less self conscious and a lot less inhibited.

Felix had a wonderful day. He went in the petting zoo, although it was Daddy who touched the animals because he was a bit wary of them. He put ping pong balls into the clown's mouths very easily, without dropping any of the balls. He even went on the giant slide with Isaiah (and had a look of sheer terror on the way down). He was so tired, because of our early start, that he slept for all of the actual walk, but he woke up happy and ready to entertain everyone after that. He was absolutely exhausted when we got home and was asleep as soon as I put him to bed.

Our trip home was a little bit frightening. We had been following a convoy of ten Armoured Personnel Carriers on their way to the base. They were travelling very slowly so, bit by bit, we managed to overtake the first eight of them. With only two to go, I was excited because we would then be able to drive normal speed the rest of the way home. Suddenly the driver, of the one in front of us, fell asleep at the wheel and veered into oncoming traffic. I braked, because I could see it about to hit the van travelling in the opposite direction and was worried that our car was going to get caught up in the accident. I don't know how, but the vehicles missed each other by the tiniest of margins. The driver woke up as he hit the dirt on the opposite side of the road, straightened up and drove back over to the correct side of the road, in front of us. To say that my heart was racing would be an understatement. I still can't believe he didn't kill anyone. Needless to say, I was very thankful to pull into our driveway tonight. It's good to be home safe and sound!


  1. Sounds like an amazing day,glad you made it home safely;)

  2. Thanks Robin. It was such an amazing day; I'm already looking forward to next year :)