we are getting up close and personal today with our CEO and founder Mica May as we celebrate National Down Syndrome Month. Mica writes letters to her son (Jackson, 5 years old) in hopes that one day she can share them with him and the rest of their family about their journey together. we wanted to share her most recent letter she posted on her personal Instagram.
to my jackson. october is national down syndrome awareness month. most days, i’m not thinking that your flirty almond eyes mean that you have an extra 21st chromosome, I’m just thinking how much i love that they twinkle when you look at your mama. when you were born & we found out you had Down syndrome, it was fight or flight, and boy, this mama a fighter. i read books. i researched. but the truth is, the more i read, the more i felt disconnected from you, a tiny little new life, snuggled in my arms. i felt like someone handed me an index card on it with all your possible limitations: delayed speech. low tone. sensory issues. younger life span. physical differences. they said you’ll probably never play football or drive a car.
and so you know what? i quit reading. bc MY mom didn’t get handed an index card the day i was born that read: mica will be terribly bad at math. she won’t make the cheerleading squad. she’ll make less than a 3.0 in college…and thank goodness bc she prob would have put me in extra tumbling & tutoring so that maybe, just maybe, my index card wouldn’t come true.
and so I’ve chosen to disregard your index card, and treat each day at a time. we wrestle in the mornings before school to make sure you have enough sensory input for the day. you spend your days at the most incredible school I could ever dream of. i look at you until we lock eyes and we just smile & laugh for no reason, because i know that it fills up your little love tank. i know that in the evenings, we have dance parties & take baths. we’ll snuggle up to read Wynken, Blynken and Nod for the 10,000th time & i’ll secretly dream of the day when you can read it out loud with me. but until then, i will read it to you & i’ll point to the stars and moon and the wooden shoe like i always do . . .
The Rise School Art Book originated from a beautiful canvas displayed in Jackson’s school lobby. it was painted by the students – most of which have Down syndrome. Mica was smitten with it’s bright colors and cheery outlook, and asked if she could put the design on a May Book.
we hosted an event to complete The Rise School Art Book collection. kids with special needs helped turn plain canvases into beautiful masterpieces!
proceeds from the Rise Art Collection go back to raise awareness and provide better education for children with special needs. Learn more about Rise >
We want to pay for your holiday cards this year. Well, not everyone. But for one of you lucky folks we want to print 300 of your personalized holiday greeting cards fo free! How? Follow these directions and you’ll be entered to win!
1. Design a few favorites on our website.
2. Pin your 3 favorite designs using the #mdholiday hashtag.
3. We’ll choose a random winner on November 1st!