Saturday, January 23, 2010

love spawn...

today I was in a class for my home child care…yes we have to go to classes and try to interact with others that are not under the age of 6…I was sitting next to two gals that have been in child care over 35 years!! holy crap not sure how they do it... I asked them how they have done it for so long…one replied I am mentally retarded…I paused and gave a courtesy grin…I understood what she meant…I am not sure if I was pissed at her or me…I wanted to say I do not like that phrase…I have a mentally retarded child…but then I thought it was not the venue…but then where is the venue…when is it appropriate? I like how people say to me…she is not mentally retarded she has Down Syndrome…I understand ignorance is bliss…but really no needs to sugar coat anything for me anymore…that got me thinking…Down Syndrome what does it mean? it means different things to different people…if you asked me a year ago what Down Syndrome was…I would say I do not know… they just look different…I did not know until Feb 17th 2009 when my doctor said Down Syndrome…a possible reason for the “no bubble” ultra sound…people will say hopefully Maddie is a “high functioning” person with Down Syndrome…this really does not give me any comfort…I have even said those words…Maddox is what she is…she is my daughter, my princess…I will love and support her with whatever…even if she is gothic, lesbian, transgender or religious…I just love her…next time maybe I will have the courage to stand up for something that is so hard for me…to admit she is a person born with Down Syndrome…and she is my spawn…

2 comments:

  1. She is such a CUTIE! My Boston was just recently diagnosed with Down Syndrome as well.

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  2. I think the whole idea of people using that phrase is one of ignorance. I know that I used it prior to Gabe being born. Like most people, I would defend myself for using that word/slang by saying that "I don't mean it like that!".

    But now that I have Gabriel, my attitude has changed. I imagine that cynical people may point out my past ignorance prior to Gabe, but the truth of it is that the r-word is another brick in the wall between them and someone with a disability. It's easy to disassociate ourselves from language and meaning.

    Although the woman was clearly not talking about Maddox, she is, really. Maddox, my son, and every child out there with Down syndrome are medically labelled as mentally retarded.

    Funny enough, in the context it was used, I wouldn't think it even accurate. She could have said that she was "crazy" opposed to being mentally delayed. But then again, "crazy" defines another segment of society that we separate by language.

    I guess what I am saying that you will come to choose what you want to say and when you will say it. I think with Maddox being so young, and how you're working your way through this journey, it's hard what to do or say in the moment. Like many of us, you did what we have done.

    Eventually, that may change for you. And that's part of acknowledging that you don't want Maddox separated from everyone else, even if people don't intend that by language. They have to understand that it does exactly that: segregates our children.

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