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Interview with Lilly: Two different socks

Perfect is not the norm.

Written by Rian Rietveld

Yoga, good for the body and soul. I love it, a moment of reflection, drinking tea afterwards with interesting conversations. Like with Lilly Pagrach.

Purple hair, cheerful, sun-tanned face and never short of things to say. “Child Pose!” she shouts out during class when the exercises get too hard. It puts a smile on everyone’s face.

I noticed that Lilly always wears two different socks and during tea I asked why. Her answer was surprisingly serious.

Wearing odd socks symbolizes Alzheimer’s: “forgetting about what to wear”. And it pays attention to Down syndrome, the #SockChallenge: “you are okay the way you are”. She experiences both up close.

Two feed with two different socks. black and white striped, one with blue, red and black blocks

Lilly’s great-niece has Down syndrome. She calls her a little present. “She’s so sweet, we kind of think of her as our own grandchild, she couldn’t have been born in a better place.”

“You learn to look at life differently, back to basics: not what a child can’t do, but what it can do.” A mindset her parents had to learn.

Of course Down brings concerns: what about the future, when she’s older? Questions Lilly shares with her family.

With the odd socks, Lilly also wants to draw attention to Alzheimer’s. Her mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s and therefore no short-term memory. But besides the worries, there was also a lot of fun. Being able to tell the same joke eight times, joking about having to listen to the same story over and over again. Here too: don’t focus on what someone can’t do, but can do.

And that lesson actually applies to everyone. Perfection should not be the norm. Two different socks to pay attention to imperfection, to possibilities instead of limitations. To also have fun together.

Perfect is not the norm.

Also on the web we often assume perfection as normal. Perfect vision, perfect hearing, perfect concentration, learning ability, understanding and speed of thinking. Anyone who doesn’t meet that high standard is not served well and therefore has more difficulty on the internet.

Time to remember that your web visitor is not perfect, but a human being with all the baggage that life brings. Learn to create an accessible website for all your visitors.