Saturday, April 7, 2012


LC first Ice Cream Cone (look how tight she is holding that baby)

I read Kelle Hampton's blog.  I like it because she chooses to consistently look for the good in life, and now to my point....

A few post's ago she talked about how her husband had asked if Nella would be smart.  Her answer was I think she's brilliant, but they are known to have "a child like mentality" and her husbands response was to say that was so cool.  She then received some "nicely" worded e-mails about how that was wrong to say, and that their is even some Ds Men and Women going to college.   And I thought, Why did you need to do that? What purpose does it serve to take away her moment where she realized her Husband would embrace the fact their child might want to dress up for Halloween every year until she's 40,  maybe Believe in Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny well belong her peers.  In that exchange He let her know He doesn't care if Nella goes to college He will love her anyway.  They took that beautiful moment and made her aware of how politically incorrect it was to them for her to say that.  They made her feel bad. I want to know why?  Some Moms I know have talked about the unfairness that can go on it the Special Needs communities ( a topic for another time). So she needs to hid from the world that some don't go to college.  Is she only allowed to recognize the rare few who make it to college.  Why can't we just be OK with the exchange between her husband and her?   It made me realize I don't want to be an advocate for Leighton like that.  I don't want to be the one out there that needs to change everyone's vocabulary, I don't need to announce that she is more then her Trisomy 21.  Leighton will do that herself as people get to know her, and that will be more effective then any words I can say will.  They will learn to look past the extra skin fold on her eyes, they will look past that tiny tip of her tongue, that pokes out.  They will see her smile, and notice the Bluest eyes.   I've been thinking about how sometimes when we are so forceful as parents that we are actually pushing people away.  If I chew someone out when they use the 'R' word in front of me then I might make them avoid all Ds kids in the future.  Believe me I notice every time it's said in My Presence, but I know that my Family is working on it, and it still slips. It was a word we used growing up, and was never associated with Leighty bugs peers in our minds, but now it burns My ears, it's like a siren
 LC and Her Grandma my Mom (I LOVE this pic!)
I wonder if maybe we could take a more excepting approach ourselves. What would happen if we did? I know sometimes being parents to these cuties we really will have to put our feet down and fight. I'm talking about those innocent mistakes. Most people are hesitant to approach our children because they are so afraid they will say and do the wrong thing, and offend us.  Maybe if we can let the terminology brush by us a little then they can become comfortable in the situation. They will learn through us what's the correct things to say, and the correct things to do as they spend more time with us.   I guess as Leighton grows up, and they say Does Leighton Have Down syndrome, I want to be like YES, Yes she does. Isn't she amazing, beautiful, and perfect?  I want them to feel wounded because they defined her by that first, but acknowledge it and then be friendly so they also want to see what's amazing, beautiful, and perfect about her.  I don't want to shove the person away that has the courage to step out of their comfort zone.  Maybe they don't say words just like they ought, but maybe Leighton wont say words just as she ought as well.  I think the acceptance can go both ways.  Kelle was doing her best. I know she's more public then most, and her heart is truly in the right place.  I guess being a new Mom I don't want to be scolded either.  I learn along the way what is correct and not. Hey, I even have learned you do it Ds, instead of DS because syndrome is not capitalized! Ha I didn't know that before I had this baby, and no one yelled at me.  I'm learning.  I know hearing the R word, and other things that I think are wrong will continue to hurt and it will certainly get harder, and worse. As I'm learning I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I want to remember that acceptance can go both ways.
LC first Easter Hunt at Great Grandmas.

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