Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Based on a true story:
If a mom notices a dirty floor chances are she's going to want to clean it. She'll throw the toys in the toy box and go get the vacuum out of the closet. When she pulls the vaccum out she'll notice that the canister is full, so she'll go to empty it in the trash can. When she gets to the trash can she'll notice that it is completely full. So, she'll pull out the full trash bag and take it out to the dumpster. On her way to the dumpster, she'll see the baby pulling all the toys out of the toy box so she'll pick him up and put him in his highchair. When she gets him in the highchair she'll notice that he's hungry so she'll give him a little snack and a cup of milk. She'll hear a strange sound coming from the hallway so she'll investigate. She'll discover the dog, digging into the trash bag she left sitting in the hallway. So, she'll pick up the scattered garbage and make a second attempt to make it to the dumpster. When she comes back in from the dumpster, she'll notice all the shoes and socks thrown around the entryway. She'll tidy the shoes and take the socks to the dirty clothes basket. She'll notice the basket looks rather full so she'll take it down to the laundry room to throw it in the washing machine. When she walks in the laundry room she'll realize the lightbulb is burned out so she'll search through the drawers until she finds a bulb. When she finally finds the stepladder, out in the backyard, under the swingset, and gets the lightbulb changed, she hears her preschooler calling that he's hungry. So she'll head back to the kitchen, give the baby a little more to snack on and start making lunch. As she's making lunch she'll realize the trashcan has no bag in it. So she'll put a new bag in the trash can. A new trash bag will remind her of the therapy appointments her kids have that afternoon and that she needs to pack the bag. Hurrying to the kids' room to grab the bag, she'll trip over the vacuum cleaner. Which will remind her, there is not enough time in the day. And who cares about dirty floors?!
Saturday, October 5, 2013
October is both spina bifida awareness month and Down syndrome awareness month. I celebrate the fact that I get to be a parent of some pretty awesome kids and a part of two amazing worlds I never would have been associated with in a self-chosen life, and I ponder how much I have changed for the better because of it all.
I want to say this because sometimes I catch the look in someone's eye when they see me out in public or meet our family for the first time. It's a look of pity, sorrow, horror maybe. They speak to me in a quiet voice, like one reserved for a morgue or supporting a friend whose been through something terrible. "What's wrong with your son?" they may say, pointing in the direction of Caedmon. Or a quick glance at Asher and then a turning away, as though he's something scary or contagious and if they look too long they could catch it.
It's so important for me to say, in as many ways as possible, that the people you see who are different, walking crooked, using a wheelchair, having unique facial features, are people who laugh and cry and love and hurt. They have good days and bad days, they have people who love them and maybe people who treat them terribly. They brighten the lives of everyone who takes the time to get to know them and they are not pitiful and their lives are not sad and there is nothing horrible about their existence. In other words, they are people.
My prayer is that, because you have read a bit about my family, the next time you pass a person in the grocery store, at the park, on the street, who looks different from you, you can put a genuine smile on your face, look them in the eye and say, "Hello! How are you?" And really care to hear what the answer is. Because the only way you are going to be able to break out of the box of able-ism that our society puts all of us in is to actually take the time to interact and get to know others. And when you do that your life will be transformed into a much more beautiful, colorful, lively and joyfilled place.