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February 20, 2008

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mj albright

Wow!!! So glad to call you my friend. I'm speechless.

Donna

I'm glad you 'talked' about what was bothering you. I was a little saddened by that too. I had an uncle who was mentally disabled but only knew him for 4 1/2 years (he died of a burst esophagus so his death was the first I experienced) I do have quite a few great memories of him! He totally was my buddy because of his mental age being so close to mine. We used to pick him up from his special school & of course because I was so young I really didn't know much about what made him 'different' until MANY years later when society/prejudices reared their ugly heads. But, in spite of that I have a terrific fondness, respect, love & acceptance of those with disabilities & those who care for them. My nana was heart broken when her only son died that she followed within the year (after all she cared for him for 45 years!) She truly was a special person to me and I can't for the life of me understand when people (I had a friend in high school whose older brother wsa mentally disabled) put their children 'away' in a home so they do not have to deal with the care, ridicule, challenges involved with disabilities. I say your feelings, thoughts are valid because people are just cruel. I say kudos to that girl & hope she finds someone to accept her as she is. I also wish you the best with Carter - I bet y'all are going to be just fine!

Jan Scholl

I have a very dear friend named David who is in his mid 40's. He too has cerebral palsy and it has never hindered him in his pursuit of life. He was a normal participant in the every day things of life right from the start and it was because his family and the local kids made sure he wasnt coddled and treated any differently than the rest of the kids. He played basketball with us, I took him dancing, just normal stuff. Once everyone figured out he had this wonderful sense of humor and looked like Stevie Wonder too, it was fine. He had an office managers job at UPS for years and is now a DJ at a radio station in town. I feel like he is more my family than my own family at times. Its all in the attitude I think.

Elizebeth

Thanks for sharing that, I'm sure you will be giving others something to think about that they may not have before. I would have felt the same way as you do if I had witnessed that, except I probably would have cried right there in the store.

And yes, this is a super cute little leprechaun!

andrea

You have shared a touching story from so many different angles that I felt my heart ache along with yours while I read it. I know that you have said you are very blessed to have your special son in your life but don't forget he is also blessed to have such a loving mom....hugs Andrea

Charmaine

I'm so glad you shared that Carole. I, too, worry about things in the future that may never come to pass with my kids. I guess I'm just a worrier. I DO wear my heart on my sleeve, though, and as you were telling the story of being in Hobby Lobby, I was overwhelmed with sadness. . .and I wasn't even there. You're not alone. I'm glad it helped you to "get it out"! LOVE your little "jigger" card as you called it! :)

Nancy Panko

Thank you Carole! I needed that today. I had one of those days that your kids are out of control and nothing you say or do changes the atmosphere, but after reading your story I feel so grateful that they are fine and healthy. My nephew has slight autism (not sure of the term)and my sister struggles with how people treat him, it is very sad how we humans can be so warm and so cold at the same time. Carter and your family are on my prayers. Yor card is great!

Karen O

FWIW, I know a couple people - one in his thirties, one preteen girl- who have CP and who are living very full lives. D is married, successful, pretty healthy, and tests out as a genius. A is a beautiful, smart, vivacious young lady who does well physically as well.

Even if Carter has more "issues" as a result of CP, he cannot help but live well with such a loving mom. And I'll bet his sense of humor is fabulous with his supah funny mom :P

Marie Donnelly

Wow, thanks so much for that. While I know it had to be difficult for you to pour your heart out like that, it was such a great story for all of us. So many different emotions we parents go through. My heart hurt for you when you told us your worries, hopes, dreams for your son.
We all need to have our eyes opened from time to time. You did just that.

Marie Donnelly

Wow, thanks so much for that. While I know it had to be difficult for you to pour your heart out like that, it was such a great story for all of us. So many different emotions we parents go through. My heart hurt for you when you told us your worries, hopes, dreams for your son.
We all need to have our eyes opened from time to time. You did just that.

Janet Sisk

Being the parent of an 18 year old child who is hearing-impaired and cognitively-impaired, I feel your pain and concern over incidences like these. Please take heart. Yes, there are always going to be those immature people who act like fools around people with disablities. I try to see it as their lack of experience around people that are "different". People have always responded like that when in an uncomfortable situation. You did the right thing to not intervene. If the young woman didn't know they were poking fun then no harm done to her which is the most important thing. I have in the past pulled a rude young person to the side, away from others, and repremanded them for their insensitivity. Most people don't really realize that they are being cruel. Education is still needed in helping people understand that disabled individual still have feelings like everyone else. My child is happy and usually oblivious to cruelty. Our kids are blessings and I hope that everyone gets a chance to have a friendship with someone just like them during their lifetime. Keep the faith!

Mayberry Magpie

I hope sharing is therapeutic, my friend. You should do it more often. Not necessarily on your blog, although I think your readers appreciated it, but to your many friends IRL with open and willing ears.

Before reading this, I visited another blog I read regularly:

http://3kids2jobs1dog.com/

She just posted about the challenges she faces as the white mother of biracial children. My heart went out to her as well.

As a white, privileged mother of two healthy kids, I know nothing of the fears and challenges you and my other friend experience. I do know, however, for that every uninformed or insensitive clod, there are 25 folks like your readers who understand and who do better. There is comfort in that.

Mary P.

I have felt all of the feelings you have described. My son, Kyle, has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is very high functioning but does have areas he needs to work on and that may never improve. These areas are noticable to others and will probably cause him problems with friends later on. He is not aware that he is different yet but will eventually learn this and that breaks my heart. I too worry about what the future holds for him and if he will be able to attend college or live on his own. I try not to dwell on it but at the same time I need to do everything I can to prepare myself and Kyle for all possibilities. When I'm feeling weak and full of self pity I can cry uncontrollably over our situation and loss of a "normal" life for ourselves and Kyle. But then when I'm feeling strong I can talk openly about it without shedding a tear. I try to focus on Kyle's strengths and all the things that make him so wonderful like his loving nature, his intelligence, his sweet smile, etc. I think that there must be a trade-off somewhere along the line. Like maybe we will avoid some of the regular worries people have with their children ie: drugs, negative attitude, etc. There has to be a reason for it that I just don't know about right now. I do believe that there has to be a special place in heaven for mothers of special needs children, and when we get there I will buy you a drink! ;) I'm going to go hug my son now! Take care and keep the faith! Mary Pickett

Christina Fischer

Carole, I'm so glad you shared your feelings. I'm sure I would have reacted the same way if I had been there. I have a 3-year-old niece with Down Syndrome, and she has been such a blessing to our family. There are 18 grandkids(my kids being 4 of them), and she has allowed all of them to see beyond the disabilities. My son just volunteered at a Special Olympics basketball tournmant, and it was an amazing experience for him. He may not have done that (although I like to think he would have) if not for his cousin. All kids aren't that fortunate, however, and there is cruelty out there that breaks my heart. Hopefully your post will spark some dialogue between parents and kids about kindness and respect toward everyone.

Erika Hybben

Thank you so much for sharing your story. My brother had a severe traumatic brain injury when he was 20 years old that thrust him into a whole new world...a world that many of his previous friends did not wish to be a part of. He still has some social akwardness, but today he is 35, married, employed, and a father of 2 wonderful boys. I understand why the conversation affected you in such a strong way, but please know that the strong foundation you are providing for Carter will make a huge difference in his future. Take care and thanks again for sharing.

chris mott

I appreciate you sharing your feelings. It never ceases to amaze me how immature one can be. I am thankful that my children always lend a helping hand to anyone, disability or not. I hope that you son Carter realizes how lucky he is to have you and know that you will teach him, that no matter the circumstances kids can be cruel, unfortunately alot of parents don't teach their children manners.

I love your leprechaun!!! I can see him singing an Irish jig...and dancing it up. We all need him in our lives, to realize how fun and precious life is..Thanks Carole!!

stacy

I am glad you shared your story, I too would have felt sad for that girl. I don't think your blowing things out of proportion, all parents worry about their children disabled or not. None of us want them to be hurt or feel pain but unfortunately it is mostly what this world has to offer. I hope everyday that I am doing my best to raise my children to be compassionate and think of others feelings before poking fun. This past weekend I watched Extreme makeover and I learned that disabled people really should not be labeled as such because most of them are very able. We all drew the short end of the stick in some aspect of our lives, some of us are just better at hiding it. Take care and I will keep Carter in my thoughts and prayers because as a mother I understand your fears for him.

Carolyn King

Carole---first your card is amazing..I love it--so fun and so colorful!

I love your story at the end too--just a glimpse into a world that most will never know. So many people have some sort of disablitiy or something different than what is deemed normal---hopefully Carter will never know how mean children AND adults can be.

Wouldn't it be great if everyone had to walk a mile in everyone else's shoes---I think that would change the way most act in life.

Huge hugs girlfriend. I hope you are feeling better today.

Amy

Hi Carole,

Thanks for sharing your story, your worries, your thoughts and for challenging your blog chasers to stop and think about something far more important than...stamping (gasp!). You're one helluva mama to Carter and one helluva an advocate for him as well...I just know it! Of course, the situation you narrated so eloquently (sp?...too lazy to look up) is near and dear to your heart, but it is also good food for thought for some of us who think the *little things* are heavy, ha!

Thanks for making me thankful for people like you, for my dear/wonderful friends and family...thanks for making me stop and think!

Love ya!
Amy

BTW...I hope you had that glass of wine; I'm enjoying a margarita while baby George is napping and dinner is cooking!

Lauren (mytime)

Oh Carole I feel the same as you. My heart broke reading the story. I dont think its something WE need to change, its other people in society who needs to be more open, and sensitive to other's feelings.
You can't help but worry about your children's future.

When I was pregnant with Alexa we knew she would have DS. My mom was a wreak! Crying and carrying on about "Will she have a date for the prom"
SERIOUSLY! I could not even believe that was her primary concern. Some of the most beautiful girls will be dateless, why do we need to assume my daughter will be JUST because she has a "diagnosis"?
Ill never forget that.
Anyway-I try to take it one day at a time. Why worry about the prom when I need to get through today.
I do my best to educate everyone around us-even the ignorant.

I am however happy that the man wasn't rude and openly cruel to her.
Its hard to put yourself out their period.
He could have really hurt her feelings, so at least she may have been unaware.
I do wonder if his "friends" didn't care, would he consider dating her? Does he actually like her, but worries about riducule?

I have fears for Alexa's future as well. People just aren't nice, and dont care too often.
Ignorance is a huge issue families of people with disabilities face. I get the most awful, rude comments from adults-who in turn teach that stuff to their children

Thanks for voicing your concerns here. I know all too many of us can relate.
Hugs to you and your Carter!
Someday he will be just as special to someone else, as he is to you now :D And then you will have to pray you like her! LOL!

Anita Van Hal

Thanks for sharing-I am a little over-sensitive to issues like this too, because when I was a young girl I had a crossed eye and was teased continuously about it until it was straightened after four surgeries by the time I was nine. Now granted, having one crossed eye that I'm blind in, is no comparison to someone with cerebral palsy, but just to let you know, my stepmother has a grandson (so he's my "step-nephew?"), with cerebral palsy, and although he is limited in physical activities, he is bright and a very compassionate, kind young man (he's about 11). This past summer he had surgery to straighten his legs, and although he endured a lot of pain and pain during his physical therapy, his greatest joy through all that was to be able to ride a bicycle for the first time this fall! He was ecstatic! You just never know...

Lynn

What a cute card, love the leprechaun and the foamy mugs of green beer!

jules

WOW! As much as I liked your card, I LOVED your story even more. It so happened that my daughters were in here reading it with me and it really made us think. (and made me cry) Us moms-we are very protective of our little chicks!!! :)
Thanks for sharing your story!

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