The one where I blush and babble

29 Dec

So my last post, where I was momentarily gifted in writing about my thoughts on the word “retarded”, has at this point in time gotten almost 5,000 hits.  Friends are passing it all around Facebook, their friends are passing it around, and so on, and so forth.

I honestly didn’t expect such a response.  I am sincerely amazed at how much attention this has gotten, and touched at all the lovely compliments have been thrown my way because of it.  I would like to thank every person who has taken the time to read this.  Especially those who have expressed a change of heart when it comes to how they use the word.

Let me tell you – I never thought I’d ever become an advocate of anything.  I had some causes I supported, like everyone does.  But never did I think I’d become the person who advocates.  I’m not a confrontational person at heart.  I’d rather sit in the back of the crowd and send in my support.

Becoming Maura’s mom changed me in so many ways – all of it good.  The infamous “They” say that being the parent of a special needs child would be so very rewarding, enriching, and all that stuff I passed off as drivel a lifetime and a half ago.  It all seemed so cheesy.  And I’m not a big fan of cheese.

But I have to admit – they were all right.  It has been life changing.  All in good ways.  I’ve learned to be more confident in my instincts, and standing up for myself and my children.  I’ve learned more about parenting than I ever thought possible.  I’ve learned that there are more good people than bad in the world.  I’ve learned there are still some ignorant, cruel people – but those are few and far between.  I’ve learned to stand up for what I believe in, express my thoughts, and live in the moment.  I learned how to be a special needs advocate – even if at times, it’s just advocacy through a simple blog post.

Yes, my little girl who will never ever go to college managed to teach me – and many others – so very much.



9 Responses to “The one where I blush and babble”

  1. SaraCVT December 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I’m reading this post on my smartphone (don’t worry, I’m not driving) on the way home from an appointment with a kind of doctor that not only did I think we’d never need, I don’t think I even knew that specialty existed when I had my twin girls. But things change, and now I am so, so grateful to have him on our team. He is one of the best in his field, and he’s always seemed to be able to untangle things that bewildered us. We’ve come so far as a family; even though we still have miles to go, I know that we can travel the path, autism, ADHD, developmental delay, social disorder, and all. Perhaps that’s what these
    children teach us best: change comes, but we’re always a family.

  2. Corner Garden Sue December 31, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    It looks like you live in a beautiful place. I didn’t realize you live in Ireland when I came to read your other post from FB.

    I have a T shirt from Special Olympics that talks about getting rid of the “R” word. There are a number of us who are right there with you on that. I have a 19 year old nephew who has autism, and my brother is a widower. He has finally gotten some respite help, as he is quite a handful.

    Some of the students I work with as a paraeducator are very low functioning. They are not able to communicate how they feel about things in ways we understand. Sometimes they get physical with those around them. My heart goes out to them and their families. Let’s not bandy about that “R” word. (I looked up the meaning of “bandy” to make sure I was using it correctly. I think I did.) :o)

    • phoebz4 January 1, 2012 at 8:59 am #

      Yes, we’re American, but just moved to Dublin last February. It’s been interesting, almost all in good ways 😉

  3. ntouch2cher January 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Thank you for your post on people’s misuse of words in derogatory ways. I have shared with my fb friends as well. Good luck on your writing…you are very enjoyable to read…and don’t blush…the ones who should be blushing are the ones who should not be misusing this word.

  4. penny mcneer January 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Just had 2 say more than I did on Rudolph. things r so much better than they used 2 b 4 our special ones but we`ve got a long way 2 go.. the thing that bothers me most is the disapproving stares some people give. Glance at something or someone unusual o.k. but stare NO.. My grandson goes everywhere & does everything. It`s obvious he is blind(hello, white cane ) . he is developmentally delayed but has fun with all he does. I would not be bothered if someone asked questions. How else will they learn.? Can your child speak 2 languages? Val can.. do your kids do laundry & vacuum? he does. totally on his own, he has a plan for what he wants to do when he grows up. I love all 18 grandkids– no matte3r what their abilities may be.

  5. Lisa Jane January 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    You know that Pink (the singer) has tweeted about it on her twitter? Just thought you might like to know 😀

    • phoebz4 January 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

      YES! Someone let me know! I’m still geeking about it 🙂

  6. Denise January 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    I just read the article for the first time today, from a link shared on Twitter. I have since shared it on Twitter and Facebook. My friends are sharing it as well. You wrote something that was important to say and needs sharing.

    My sister-in-law had Down’s Syndrome. My husband still bristles every time he hears the word “retarded” said off-handedly or used in a rude manner. The word bothered me for years, but now it bothers me even more knowing my husband and how much it bothers him. Unfortunately, I never got to meet my sister-in-law. She died in 2003, 4 1/2 years prior to my meeting my DH.

    Please continue being that advocate. I know you must because as a mom you advocate for your children. It is important to be all your childrens’ champion! Wonderful post, wonderful blog!

  7. H. Elizabeth Walker/The Gorram Reaver January 7, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Belongs with ‘Being Retarded’ –

    Sorry. Not sure how else to get this message to you. I feel like I know where you’re at, but you’re allowed to tell me I haven’t a clue…

    I’ve had depression & anxiety disorder my whole life. I know it means more than ‘Feeling Sad’. For the longest time, I felt I couldn’t even work or contribute as ‘a part of society’. Yeah. Labels suck, big time, and so often those who impose them don’t realize what they’re doing. I know my condition is treatable, and for that I am forever grateful. I even have medications that make my depression manageable, which I daily acknowledge is atypical. I know that, in the realm of those afflicted with psychological/cognitive disorders, I am extraordinarily lucky.

    I wish you the best. I see that you & your family have found a path that will give hope to you all (including Maura). Hope, and life. It forever sickens me when others decide there is but one definition of ‘life & happiness’ that will satisfy the universe. It saddens me as we prepare for elections here in the States and some preach a philosophy of hatred. Most of all, it saddens me when people think they know what it means to be ‘smart’, or ‘intelligent’, or ‘prescient’, and they fail to take into account persons such as myself or Maura.

    “There is more in Heaven & Earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.”

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