Buddy Walk 2010

At the beginning of the Buddy WalkFirst Buddy Walk:  In 2008, Biffle and I attended our first Buddy Walk with Maybelle, no bigger than a comma, in a sling around Biffle's torso.  We went mostly to gather evidence, nervously wanting to find out what this Down syndrome stuff was going to involve.  We both remember very clearly the memory of seeing a girl riding her bike with her dad--for both of us that was incredibly reassuring.

Second Buddy Walk:  In 2009, we three attended again.  This time we had a community and a poster, and the whole event felt much more like a fun gathering--not anxious evidence collection.  Maybelle sat and played with her friends before and after, and she cruised through the walk in her stroller.

Third Buddy Walk, today: A one-mile walk.  A 25-month-old person who's just recently begun walking.  She walked the entire way, grinning and laughing the whole time.  Biffle and I were amazed.  We didn't bring any sort of baby-hauling device, but we figured when she got tired we'd carry her.  And then every time we picked her up, she wriggled down and wanted to walk.Girls swinging 3 The only exceptions to the walking were moments like the one documented here, when she'd get swung into the air. This photo is also useful because look at who's behind Dave, Rosemary, Elizabeth, Maybelle, and Biffle: the police cars that designate the end of the parade. In the photo above, the walk is just beginning, and we're close to the front of the clump.  By this point, we're the very last ones.  The police were having to go our speed, because we were walking, and the parade didn't end until Maybelle got to the finish line. (We know from another friend that this isn't the first time this has happened at the Buddy Walk, and the police seemed perfectly fine with driving at two-year-old walking speed.)

It would be difficult to overstate how excited, happy, and proud Biffle and I were and are.  As we were leaving, I told her we'd be proud of her no matter what, but she makes it so easy!  Maybelle, on the other hand, seemed to think this was a good time, but no big deal.  At the end point of the parade, she gave us both big hugs, but then wiggled down to walk around some more.

Another really cool thing about this year's Buddy Walk is that we had the chance to meet a couple who are expecting a baby in November, and who know that their baby has Down syndrome.  We were able to be some of the folks responding to their anxious evidence-collecting, offering happy congratulations and telling them what a great adventure it's going to be.

If you want to see more pictures of Maybelle's delighted walking, I've created a set on Flickr.


Cate Bush said...

What awesome pictures! I loved the swinging one. I'm so proud of Maybelle!

grace said...

This is really awesome! Especially the striped pants and traditional overalls.

Amanda Hollinger said...

And did you see that Maybelle made the newspaper? http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/oct/04/walk-cause/

What a star!


Cass said...

Go, Maybelle, go!!

Carrie said...

I love the pictures, especially the one of Maybelle and Sarah! :)So the picture in the Post & Courier... Maybelle is holding a stranger's hand? That is funny. Last year's Buddy Walk was hard for me and yesterday was the best day ever. We had an awesome time!!

Anonymous said...

Adorable! I love the t-shirts & what seem to be converse shoes on her feet. Go Maybelle!


Quiche said...

I love Maybelle's boundless spirit! Wonderful pictures! The tees look great!

Anonymous said...

This is precious. I thought you might enjoy this song as well.

Lee-Ellen: Gods Plan

Best wishes to you and Maybelle!