Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 for 21 Day 4: Why We Blog

It's hard to find a topic to write about every day, but I'm enjoying the challenge.  I think this 31 for 21 exercise will be a good opportunity for me to think about where I want to go with this blog.  The blog started out when Anthony was in the NICU and we posted daily updates on CaringBridge. When he came home, we wanted a way to keep people updated on how he was doing, and so "Keeping Up With The Carsons" was born.

The blog title is a little misleading- it should really be called, "The Place Where We Post Cute Pictures of Anthony" but that's too clunky.  Us other Carsons (Paul and me) do tend to fade into the background, but I think that's okay- we're not as interesting as the little guy.  Blogs can be misleading.  If the only thing you knew about us was from this blog, you'd think we don't do anything but kid stuff and don't think about anything except Anthony (oh wait....).  But we have our own lives too- we have jobs, read books, watch R-rated movies and do other grownup-type stuff. Paul even has his own blog. But "Keeping Up With The Carsons" has always been mostly about Anthony, and that's the way it will stay.

There are lots and lots of blogs having to do with raising a child with Down syndrome.  Last I checked, over 150 of us are participating in 31 for 21, and that's just a small segment of the bloggers out there. Here you can find a nice list maintained by Meriah at "With a Little Moxie".

Why so many Down Syndrome bloggers?  Everyone has their own reasons for blogging. For some people it's a creative outlet, for others a way to advocate for a particular issue or cause, and for others it's a way to keep loved ones up to date on their goings on.  Some people use their blogs to showcase their photography or their writing: sometimes this even lead to a bestselling book.  I think the one thing that unites all the Down syndrome bloggers is the desire to show that life with a child with Down syndrome isn't the automatic bad thing that it is often portrayed as. (If you think people don't think Down syndrome is bad, read the comments on almost any online article having to do with Down syndrome.) We blog as a way to advocate for our kids.

Sometimes that leads to criticism both within and outside the blog community.  Certain high-profile bloggers are criticized for only showing the positive side of Down syndrome, and not being real enough about the hardships.  I used to feel that way a little bit.  I thought that if someone was getting a lot of publicity they should use their celebrity to advocate more and not just write what I considered fluff pieces. But now I have more of a "live and let live" attitude.  This blog is probably seen (by the few people who follow it!) as one of those showing-only-the-good-side ones.  But I don't really consciously do that.  Our lives really ARE pretty great overall.  We live in a beautiful part of the country, we have a healthy child, a cute house, nice friends, and we love each other. Our lives are very cushy compared to the great majority of people in the world.  Plus our child almost died when he was born, but he didn't and he's amazing. So we like to celebrate that on this blog.


  1. Well said! And I love getting to come here and get my cute pictures of Anthony fix!

  2. "Plus our child almost died when he was born, but he didn't and he's amazing. So we like to celebrate that on this blog." That's a great reason to be positive if I've ever heard one!