Our Buddy Walk is fast approaching and I always remember the very first one we went to and how it made me feel. My baby boy was one and it was cold. I remember this because we had him so bundled up you could barely see his face. The Buddy Walk was the first time I saw so many people coming together to raise awareness and acknowledge all the people in our community with Down syndrome. This was a celebration of the friendships and obstacles that had been overcome. We walked with hundreds of people that day all celebrating different things. I was celebrating the fact I finally found the courage to join this group. I needed to see the joy that was overflowing from everyone. Kids were dancing, and playing games while I was finding comfort in parents interacting with their children in a way I wasn't sure would exist for us. This was a joyous occasion for me because once my boy was born I didn't know what was down the road for us and I found out that it isn't that scary. It took me a whole year before I could make that call to the Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa. I often wonder why I couldn't do it before I did and to this day I am not sure what made me finally move forward and do it. That is something else I remember, I don't remember exactly what we talked about but I remember talking to the President of the organization, Erin. She had this voice of happiness, I could just here happiness when she talked, and I wanted to find that voice in me. She invited us in and before we knew it we were joining play groups and talking to other parents dealing with the same issues. This is important because I suddenly realized that we were not the only ones that were having issues with throwing, or feeding. We were no longer alone. This will be our 6th Buddy Walk® and my boy has his share of buddies that donate money and/or walk with us. We love our buddies and thank them for their support. Each year the walk represents a different stage of development for us because each year our boy does something different at the walk. He used to ride in his car and then he started walking with us and now he plays on all the Jupiter jumps and participates in the carnival games, I am excited to see how this year will play out. The Buddy Walk® means different things to different people and for us it is all about being with our family and friends celebrating something that has brought us all together on this particular day. We are getting ready for Sunday and will be sporting our team shirts while raising our flag for the person who has opened our eyes to all the love that can be found in just his smile.