Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Well, we're back from Las Vegas. It was a nice get-away and Malea was just fine without us. Her grandparents enjoyed her immensely. I reminded myself that a good friend left her 1 year old with his grandparents to come to our Vegas wedding a couple of years ago, so if I didn't think poorly of her for that, I could surely let myself off the hook.

Back to life, back to the day we have
Let's end this foolish game
Hear me out
Don't let me waste away
Make up your mind so
I know where I stand

Wow. Hm. Interesting. Ok, so a song from 1989 (!) that just happens to be stuck in my head because I was sitting here thinking of having to prepare for work after a week out sick actually is profound? And relevant? Take that everyone (me) who thinks that I waste too much brain space on things that don't really matter and struggle to come up with the word "vacuum" more times than I care to admit! (Overheard in my house: "You know, the sucker, blower thingee.")

No more room for trouble or fuss
Need a change, a positive change look
Look it´s me writing on the wall

Since the internet became a daily part of my life back in college, I've used it to its fullest, so it was no surprise that when I found out I was pregnant, I went right to an online support group of women like me, due to deliver their first children in June 2007. Shoot, I was scared of what I had gotten myself into.

I have kept up with those ladies and their lives from maybe November of 2006 until today. I still can't believe it, but I just kicked myself out of the group. I met some really nice people along the way, some even in person. But, have you ever been in a room and someone says something that you feel so deeply is wrong, but you don't say anything for fear of disrupting the "harmony" of the meeting/clique/family reunion/checkout line? Even when you know soooo much better? Well, yeah, I had reached that point. It had to be expected. We are from all over the North America, raised with all different types of morals and values, running the gamut when it came to financial, marital, and a myriad of other issues. I'd say the age range was a good 14 years.

In ideal circumstances, so what. I consider myself a pretty diverse person, thanks much to the manner in which I was raised. I moved from one cultural extreme to another, and then back again, rinse and repeat. Among my closest friends are those that live in urban areas (in my 'hooood) and a couple that just bought a 10-acre farm (shout-out to Kansas!). So, yeah, I'm open. I like good people. There are enough bad people not to like out there without getting too picky about weeding out the good ones because they don't match your color scheme or sound like you or live in the right neighborhood or have the same IQ.

Show me how, decide what you want from me
Tell me maybe I could be there for you

It was hard enough to remain a part of the group after Malea's dx. My heart ached as I watched those adorable children, her peers, reach milestones well before she ever would (little ones with Ds experience delays in fine and gross motor skills - think sitting, crawling, walking, self-feeding, etc.). Though I never verbalized my feelings, some people were inherentely loving and kind and understanding of the differences, while others just were not. I guess this is a good time for a mini lesson:

1. Parents of children with special needs do not appreciate people telling them that their child is not "normal." Nope. Doesn't work for many of us, myself included. [My child is as normal as they come. I will call her crazy though, but I love her so I get to do that.] So, if you consider yourself a martyr for putting your child in a daycare where children with special needs are "mixed in with the normal kids"? Oh, please please please, if you must express that with pride, try not to do so in mixed company.

2. There is nothing wrong with Malea or any other child who faces challenges that a typical child may not. She was born just the way she was supposed to be and I happen to think she's pretty damn interesting and amazing. Saying that you see someone's child, ANYONE'S child, and posting, again - in mixed company - that the child "looks funny" and that there must be something wrong with him? Not cool. If you don't know why, [insert your child or one you care about here].

I'm off my soapbox for now. I didn't even mean to write all of that. But I'm not backspacing one little bit. What gets me is that some people just don't get it. NOTHING in life is guaranteed. Nothing. Someone was able to look at my child when she was only hours old and make a generalization about her future health, intelligence, life expectancy, social skills, and more. Not much thought was given to the fact that the majority of new parents are not given this type of information about their newborns or that these doctors were no more sure about my child than they would be about most others (Yeah, I know that 3rd 21st does tell us some things, but there is still tons of wiggle room.). Things happen. Instead of feeling all high and mighty, try learning something.

And if you need something else...People, if you don't want to go to a mall with "the blacks" tell a friend who agrees with how you feel about black people and not me. Good grief.

So, yeah, I needed to leave. I did provide a link to here though. Maybe we can all grow together.

However do you want me
However do you need me


Jocelyn said...

I never new that song was so deep. I can't believe that was 1989. That seems like so many lifetimes ago. We were what just born?