Monday, January 21, 2008

More on Brad...

You know I love you, Bleeber, but I can't let you walk away with that comment.

I had to stop and think for a while about how to approach this.

Let me first address the issue of strength. Am I a stronger parent because of Chase? I don't think so. Certainly this isn't the path that I thought that my life was going to take, and honestly, I love Chase...but I would never, ever choose a life for him with the hardships that he has already faced or will face in the future. But guess what? I'm doing what ANY parent would do...creating the best life possible for my kids. And it wouldn't matter if Chase was blind, deaf, physically impaired, had ADD or a speech delay. You do what you need to do because you love your kids--- whatever way they come to you.

And what is the ultimate goal? I think, in the end, all I really want is happiness for both my boys. If Ian is happy wearing women's underwear and arranging flowers, so be it. Great! And if Chase is happy training full time with the Varsity basketball team, only playing for 3 seconds at the end of the game, HOORAY!

The thing about the Brad Hennefer article is that he worked hard, his peers and his coaches supported him, he felt accomplished, needed, and accepted. He overcame obstacles that most kids never even fathom. He's not sitting in some corner, watching everyone else live life. Think about the way that people with Down syndrome have been treated up until this generation; they've been committed to institutions, they've been ignored, they've been corralled in special education classes. 90%, even now, don't even make it past the 20th week of pregnancy.

The fact that Brad is part of that team is amazing. The fact that his coaches and teammates encourage him to belong is awesome. I bet he loves every minute of it.


Chris said...

You tell em!

Emily said...

Bravo Laurie! Very well said! Sometimes it bugs the heck out of me when someone tells me what a "stong" parent I am.

It seriously makes me want to ask them what they would do if their child was diagnosed with a disability (which could just as easily happen to them as it did to our kids). Would they just curl up and die? Send their child away? What? Could they really never handle it? Sure, they could easily "take care of the problem" if it was diagnosed pre-natally, but most disabilities are diagnosed after birth.

We do what we do for our kids because we love them and basically we have to. Life dealt us a challenging situation and we get on with it and find ways to deal.

It is almost kind of patronizing, the whole "you are so strong, special, whatever". I feel like people say that to me in one breath and their immediate next thought is Thank God it isn't me! Gag.

I have come to realize however that even if everything is peachy with them now, more than likely they will be facing a situation in their life that will shake them to their core. Just as my life was pretty darn perfect for 30 years!

Well, that turned into quite a ramble! lol. said...

Read my latest blog-I didn't know how else to put how I felt into words,but this sums it up!