Saturday, June 6, 2009

Down Syndrome Awareness: The Wonderful Thing About Triggers

I was perusing a new Down syndrome-related blog I happened upon ( when I came across a post where the author asked how other bloggers keep their post ideas in their heads before they get to their keyboards. As a blog reader/writer, I'd like to say what we all feel deeply... We bloggers love comments... Even more than we love the increasing number on the visitors counter! Comments confirm that someone out there cared enough to read what we took the time to write. And, speaking for myself, I blog for sanity [and happiness] so acknowledgement helps! So there I was, commenting on her post about how I recall my own blog post ideas when it occurred to me... THIS would be a great post!

Yes, along with my sunglasses, I keep a pen in my car visor and have been known to scribble a trigger word to remind me of my newest post idea on my hand as it occurs to me. I drive a lot (3-hours/day chauffeuring the kids to and from school) so the best ideas often pop into my head when I'm driving. At the first traffic light or stop sign, I grab the pen and write my trigger word. Unfortunately, sometimes it's a long while before I hit a traffic light (lots of parkway driving) so the idea is more developed and results in more than 1 or 2 trigger words. When this happens I could easily end up with a small novel on my left palm, circling around the front by the time I get to my keyboard.

As I explained to my fellow blogger, I write it on my hand because I KNOW I have to deal with it before my next hand-washing. That means I CAN'T ignore it lest it goes down the drain with the soap and water. Cleansed from my brain! And no, I don't transfer it to a scrap piece of paper and stuff it in my jeans pocket to be dealt with later. Experience tells me that the dryer is full of washed out, balled up scrap papers with really good blog post ideas! So, I tell it to the hand... and then hit the keyboard first chance I get!

With 3 kids, often I cannot sit at the computer and flesh out the idea no matter how much of my hand is covered in writing... because the kids will absolutely NOT allow me that time. When this happens -- more often than not -- I have a cheat sheet on my computer desk with bulleted trigger words for post ideas. Scribing from my hand to that cheat sheet also helps and I may take a moment to add to the trigger word... Or, if I don't have that moment, I may not. When all is finally quiet, and I have a second to sit at my keyboard, I refer to my cheat sheet and sign-in to blogger! Occasionally a cryptic trigger word fails to trigger the brilliant idea I had... but, thankfully, that doesn't happen too often.

Now I know my method is very.... well, immature? Teenager-ish? And, yes, depending upon where I'm going, I get some very surprised looks when people see my left hand with notes jotted all across my palm, sometimes intermingled with a desperately-needed but oft-forgotten grocery list item. Those who know me, have asked and now understand that my method works for me. Those who don't, eye me up and down like I'm a nut-job. Maybe they're right... Maybe not! Those odd looks really don't bother me... Anymore. Honestly, I get them all the time!

After all, I have identical twins. This alone attracts a lot of surprised and sympathetic looks. Every body's intrigued by the identical twin phenomena! Myself included! AND, my boys happen to have been blessed with an extra 21st chromosome (aka: Down syndrome) which is an exceptional rarity. MOST folks approach, baited by the twin-thing and are hooked into conversation by the Down syndrome thing. Yes, my boys and I are on a mission to educate as many people as possible about Down syndrome and what it is... and what it IS NOT! And, there are no better teachers in the world than Brian and Michael themselves! My boys are absolutely wonderful ambassadors... Living and breathing and intelligent little examples of what's possible. No one who has ever met them, walks away without a new and more positive idea about Down syndrome! And I assure you, they don't have to write it down on their hands to remember. Folks who meet them will NEVER forget them!

So, to be honest, I not only don't mind, but I've come to welcome people's surprised looks! It's an opportunity to educate yet another person about Down syndrome... You see, I blog about my happy life... a life forever blessed with the presence of Down syndrome. And, the writing on my hand never surprises them as much as my beautiful boys do.


  1. Well, Maggie, you've taught me a thing or two and we're in the same boat. I love the photos, I love your honestly, and I love reading your blog :)

  2. the photos make such cute & perfect accents to this story!

  3. Hi Maggie! Love your blog! I love your writing style. That's wonderful that you are able to turn your experience with the stares and Down syndrome and twins into something very positive and educational for all you meet. That's very admirable. I am with you on educating people about Down syndrome when possible.
    By the way, I added you to my blogroll. Thanks for the links re: ENT stuff. I will look at them tonight.

  4. Hey, breezing by courtesy of Lisa, Finnian's Journey! You live on LonggIsland, my old stomping ground! And you are a happy mom to a child with Down Syndrome! We have some things in common. Isn't it cool how all of the cross pollination occurs via blogging? Comments are the best too- I agree totally. It's hard to sustain one way comments isn't it?(Not hinting:)just the truth! I'll be back...

  5. I usually have a tentative schuedule for the day written out, and I scribble main ideas from there, and late at night transfer that to the "cheet sheet".Posting everyday is not easy, especially after a while! (My daughter Ricki, age 14, has DS)

  6. I'm having a bit of a writer's block myself right now so I think I need to change my mindset and use your tips!! So happy to have found you and your children are GORGEOUS!!!

  7. I do this too! Only instead of using my hand, I have a little notebook I call my "Stoplight Book" that lives in my driver's side door with a pen tied to it. I have another one I keep by my bed so if I wake up in the middle of the night I can write down whatever it was I was thinking about.

    Of course, you can't read half the writing in them since I scribble so badly. Oh well.