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Hudson's Journey: EXTRA Acts of Kindness

By Mika Hartman


Hudson's Journey: EXTRA Acts of Kindness

March is here and the old saying, “out like a lion, in like a lamb” may be true about the weather; but it’s also about everything that was cold finding a new warmth. Blooming, coming out of hibernation, cheerful colors and more kindness, well. seems to follow.


   This month holds one of the best days of the year for my family: 3-21 is World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). I remember our first WDSD, I was just released from the hospital after fighting to stay pregnant with Hudson. I remember wearing “Wonder Woman” socks with this true belief that I was unstoppable. And that Hudson’s bravery was completely undeniable, even in my belly. He braved my heart failure and he thrived through it. To celebrate, our nurse brought us the most beautiful cookies; they were yellow and blue with royal iced “Hudson”, “Homie with an EXTRA Chromie”, Down syndrome ribbons and more. To be celebrating, what I had hoped was the first of many WDSDs and to still be pregnant, both exactly what I had prayed for. This year will be our 7th year celebrating this EXTRA beautiful day.


   The celebration on this day has grown every year on purpose. Hudson is growing and celebrating him and his accomplishments only makes sense to be EXTRA! We celebrate by wearing crazy socks, asking for local and state WDSD proclamations, sharing Down syndrome awareness in our communities, reading books about Down syndrome to children and so much more. Some of our friends even run marathons for Down syndrome awareness. To be a part of one or more of these is how we become the difference for our buddies with Down syndrome. 


   This year, in addition to the fun listed above, we are challenging people to do random acts of kindness on WDSD with us. Here on the Coast, I am part of a “Ds Kindness Team”. Gulf Coast Down Syndrome Society is doing 21 days of 21 acts of kindness per day leading right up to our World Down Syndrome Day celebrations. We will be sharing 21 books about Down syndrome, giving out 21 pairs of John’s Crazy Socks, sharing 21 bags of Buddy Blend Coffee from Central Mississippi Down Syndrome’s Buddy Center, 21 boxes of EXTRA gum will be shared, we have 21 boxes of Crayola’s “Kindness” crayons and more… 16 more kindness acts to be exact.


   Can I challenge you to join us on March 21st and do a random act of kindness for Hudson in your local area? It could be small, medium or large; all kindness is good and it encourages others to do the same. It’s a ripple effect of goodness. You could buy a cup of coffee for the grouchy person in your office, you could pay for a strangers meal at lunch, you could give a flower to someone you noticed that didn’t get flowers on Valentines Day. Just remember to say, “Happy World Down Syndrome Day” or “This is for Hudson, it’s World Down Syndrome Day”. However you spend 3-21, I hope you love EXTRA, laugh EXTRA and that you dance EXTRA in your crazy or mismatched socks. “With us, not for us” is our motto.


   And if all of this wasn’t enough, several momma’s, including myself, have several schools joining in our WDSD fun, too. Baseball and Softball teams across the Coast will be wearing Down syndrome ribbons on their helmets, coaches will participate and even some schools, like Pass Christian, will have a local “buddy” throw the first pitch. If you are in the area, come see the Pass Christian Pirates Girls’ Varsity Softball game on 3-21 at 6:15… it will be EXTRA fun and on WDSD! Be sure to wear your crazy socks, too!


   However you choose to celebrate, just celebrate! People born with Down syndrome give love and laughter to many all year round. This day is for us to find our EXTRA and spread love like a buddy would! EXTRA acts of kindness should be as easy as a new bloom on tree; always there, just waiting to be warmed by love. Hudson is my warmth. He can be yours, too. 



EXTRA EXTRA



Amazing news about HB 873 The PURPLE Alert: It unanimously passed the House floor. Rep. Fabian Nelson presented our bill and did an amazing job. He clearly has a heart like Rep. Clay Mansell; good needed change is happening. It has been transmitted to the Senate. Hope to share that it “has passed” and “is law” in my next article. The outpouring of love for this bill has been humbling. I knew it was going to be important to the families who need this. I am so thankful to be a voice that is being heard. This bill will save lives. 


Also, Hudson lost his first tooth! He is so big and doing bigger things daily. Inch stones add up to milestones. Hudson CAN! I know he can..




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