Last year on this day I think my heart was beating a little faster, I was probably a bit anxious… I remember composing a Facebook post announcing that October is Dwarfism Awareness Month. I was also announcing (to the world, it felt) that my 9, almost 10 month old son was born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. I’m sure it was my most “liked” Facebook post ever.
Now…many of my Facebook ‘friends’ already knew. My family, extended family and close friends of course knew. But many of those old friends, coworkers, acquaintances that we don’t see very often, but use Facebook as a way of keeping in touch…well there were people who didn’t know. I am so lucky that I have had nothing but love and support from everyone in my life.
I’ve said it before, but it’s really crazy how quickly it all became ‘normal’ for me. I really don’t think twice about it at all. Declan is a little person. It just seems like it’s been like this forever, and this is how things are supposed be.
I realize that it’s still a rare condition that the average person probably doesn’t encounter very often, if at all. And that’s where I come in. I want to do my part to spread awareness and education about dwarfism. I think we are lucky today. Facebook and other social media platforms have their negative side…but as someone thrown into an unknown world of rare genetic conditions, possible health problems, doctors, specialists, tests, MRIs…the feeling of being alone was completely taken away by this crazy, powerful thing called the Internet. It only took a little bit of digging to find groups of parents who have been in my shoes, who are in my shoes. Who had open arms and ears and resources to send my way. And to be able to use it, the internet, as a tool to spread awareness and education…to help make the world that our children are growing up in, a little more tolerable. Well yes…I think we are lucky.
So here I am. October. Dwarfism Awareness Month. I aim to make it less unknown. To make it more ordinary. Just like it has become completely ordinary to me. I want the world to see my son and know he is like any other almost 2 year old toddler. He might need a simple accommodation or a stool to reach something…but really, he’s like you and me and my other kid and your kids. He’s just small, that’s all.