Release Date: 2019-05-03
video River Island Meet The Lucky Few | This Is Family | Summer Spirit Advert 2019 • We took our friends The Lucky Few AKA mum and dad, Heather and Josh, and children Macyn Truly and August, on holiday with us to Florida wearing River Island’s latest trends! Whilst on vacay, we caught up with them to talk about what family means to them, the gift of adoption and how they’re flipping the negative connotation of Down syndrome on its head…
“Most people believe that family means that you share DNA. You share the same eyes, the same cheekbones, the same mannerisms and that is true sometimes but all the time, family means love. Family is sacrifice, family is fun. It’s all of these things that has nothing to do with sharing the same eyes and hair texture.”
Explain The Lucky Few and how that started.
There are few of us who have a loved one with Down syndrome and those of us who do are very lucky! I started using The Lucky Few as a hashtag and then so did others in the Down syndrome community and over the years it has become much bigger than us. We use this phrase to shift the idea of Down syndrome from a deficit to an asset. Raising Down syndrome kids has allowed us to see things from a new perspective. It’s a gift. They’ve showed us through a different lens, how to live life.
A lot of ideas about what it means to have a child with Down syndrome are really outdated or based on assumption. People don’t know, because they haven’t met someone with Down syndrome and so there’s a lot of negative assumption. I’m so thankful that my kids are growing up when they are, because there is this major shift happening culturally. Down syndrome isn’t a bad thing, it’s just different.
What are the challenges you face as a parent of a child with special needs? What has been the most rewarding aspect?
Because we were first time parents, this was all we knew. It may seem crazy and wild and different, but it was our normal. We didn’t know any different. Yes, there were challenges and having a child with Down syndrome is a whole other ball game, but those first few months and those first couple of years, it was just raising a baby that we have, the best way we know how. Being a parent is a hard gig, no matter what! It’s also an honor. Raising kids with special needs has taught me that so much of life can be both good and bad, exhausting and an honor, difficult and worthy. My kids have given me a clearer glimpse of what it truly means to be human and the true worth of any human. These are truths and lessons people spend their lifetime trying to grasp, and my kids with Down syndrome get it.
Tell us a little about each child.
Macyn is our little social butterfly and she was born with music infused into her bones. She loves music and she loves to dance, so those two things happen every single day in our house. She’s incredibly resilient and brave but also cautious and I don’t know if that comes from her personality or from her first years when she was fighting for her life. She’s a cautious fighter. She’s also really tuned into the emotion in a room and she loves nothing more than being in a room full of people that want to have fun.
Truly Star is a fierce word-changer and she’s only 8. Look out world! Truly wakes up bouncing and bounces her way through the day until bed time. She’s full of energy and she’s full of life. She’s so determined and it’s going to get her really far. She’s very enthusiastic about everything and she just wants to jump from mountain top to mountain top – and she tries! She’s an incredible sister and she’s so in tune with her brother and sister. One of the things I love about Truly – and all of my children – is their lack of inhibition. Truly has no problem talking to everybody and getting what she needs and I think she’s very brave.
August is totally introverted. He’s also very affirming, he’ll come in the room with his little five year old voice and say, “mom, you’re totally rocking it today”. He’s also very theatrical, he’s such a theater kid, he likes to dress up and he likes to be presented to the room. He’ll ask us to present him. He’s got a great sense of humour and he’ll just throw out random jokes. Like we’ll be driving in the car and he’ll say out of nowhere “Mommy, did you just call me poopy pants?” He’s a dream.
00:00 I have found that most people believe
00:03 family means that you share DNA
00:06 sometimes but all the time family means
00:12 I think having a kid with Down syndrome
00:14 is in a lot of ways a lot easier and
00:16 then a lot always a lot harder it's just
00:17 being a parent I always say saying yes
00:20 to Mason was our scariest and our best
00:23 yes she was born with music infused into
00:26 her bones it truly challenges me to be a
00:31 better father every single day and we're
00:34 better for it she loves the idea of I
00:36 want people to think that I can do this
00:38 and I'm 8 years old by myself
00:41 August record we love him when his
00:44 social cup is full he'll go into his
00:46 room he closed the door and he wants
00:49 nothing to do with people he's our
00:51 little introvert
00:53 our goal for all of our kids is for them
00:56 to be their very best version of
00:58 I think about the future for our kids
01:01 what I have right now is this day I have
01:04 this day and today my kids are slaying
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