Saturday, December 11, 2010

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I'll be home for Christmas......if only in my dreams.

I have to address something that has been bothering me since before Thanksgiving. As we all know, I have an overactive mothering gene. Well, really.. it's not like this is a shock. I have seven monsters, for crying out loud. BUT.. my mothering gene is SO overactive, I can't watch/read stories about abused kids because I want to run out and scoop them all up and take them home so I can love them to death. I want to significantly harm women who drop newborns in dumpsters, or leave five children under the age of eight at home with no food or electricity or supervision so they can go out and party/gamble/work the street corner. I feel strong urges to permanently damage dead beat dads.  

I am at my happiest when I am pushing food on people, and telling them to call me when they arrive home so I know they traveled safely. I like knowing where all my monsters are....at ALL TIMES ( this irritates them no end. I'm OK with that.). I send snacks with the monsters to sleep overs... just to make sure ALL the monsters at that sleepover won't starve to death over night. When people come to a Holiday dinner at my house, they just know they are going to leave with a gaboodle of leftovers, and it's going to be noisy and chaotic and full of family. I love every last minute of chaos that family get togethers bring. And this... this is why I am bothered by this thing.. since before Thanksgiving.

Around the beginning of November I started hearing about friends, fellow bloggers, and complete strangers on twitter or facebook, who had one or more children with special needs, who were being told NOT to attend their extended family's particular celebrations of choice. It was too much to handle, there was too much work involved in "dealing with" having special needs families there. "The others" didn't want to be made uncomfortable by looking at or observing a child's more obvious disabilities or learning delays.

And now.... now I'm gonna get my mad on. I'm be speaking directly to the moronic little toads that yanked back the welcome mats from here on out.

Just who do you people think you ARE? It's uncomfortable for you to see that a child in your extended family has a disability? Guess what?! The parents of that child get to live with that disability every day, and help with therapy, maintain special diets, monitor and assist with eating issues, doctors, assessments, and specialists,  struggle with lack of sleep issues, self harming, developmental delays, separation anxiety and a myriad of other things that you had no idea existed.

These parents are more educated in their child's special needs than many medical professionals. They need to know ~at the drop of a hat~  medications, dosages, allergies, medical providers, how to calm a nonverbal child, what to do during a seizure, how to survive on less than an hour of sleep a night not just during the newborn stage, but for YEARS. They need to keep a medical reference to their child in their heads so they can answer questions from EMTs, doctors, teachers, complete strangers, family, therapists, and others. 

And you don't want to be uncomfortable?! Many special needs parents need to know all about feeding tubes, breathing treatments, leg braces, and which shots will work when their child is ill. Do you think they get to say, "Oh, sorry. Can't do that. It makes me uncomfortable."

I admire these parents... friends of mine, respected fellow bloggers, and yes, I even admire the complete strangers. Because even though you may take parenting for granted, as I did after I had a few children and thought I knew all there was to know, these parents keep going. They learn what needs learned. They never give up. Even after enduring disgusting comments from friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. Even after being stared at, whispered about, and alienated.

How many times have you called, just to let your family member vent all the stress? How many times have you offered to babysit so your family member can rest? How many times have you offered to do the laundry, clean the kitchen, or grocery shop for them? Oh, please let me guess. Would that number be....ZERO?

How dare you have the audacity to further alienate these amazing people and their children because YOU don't have what it takes. That is a reflection on YOUR faults and lack of character. Not theirs.

And now... for all these parents I respect and admire. It would be an honor and a privilege to have ANY of you in my home. A truly joyful experience to have a "family" get together with you and yours, to laugh, eat, and play together. You are, indeed, my heroes. My best thoughts and wishes, my most fervent prayers for your happiness to you all this Christmas season. Consider yourself.... family.

6 comments:

Life as the mother of 4 said...

I decided I am too old and ornery to go anywhere that my son is not completely welcome. I don't care who that person is and how closely we are related. I found you through Big Daddy. I'll probably come back because I use to live in Utah.

frazzledmomma said...

I've seen you on twitter from time to time! I'll try and get over that way today and follow ya. I think the fever has kicked my butt. But, I do like your attitude. Right on! I'm right up there with ya.

Kelli said...

Love. Love. LOVE! This article. The whole "uncomfortable" thing, and the no sleep. So well said!

Luckily, this sort of situation hasn't happened to us.

Yet.

dog4deeds said...

Awesome awesome,blog post.

I am shocked that people would be disinvited places. However I was also shocked when I had the first random stranger in public come up to me to comment on my sons behavior.

Dari said...

I am enraged just reading this post and dumb founded that people could possibly act this way. I know I shouldn't be surprised by the cruelty some dish out, but this one shocked me. Since when does family only include the "seen and not heard" children? Since when did family mean only those that don't share the skeletons in their closets, dress just so, speak with proper inflection, and know where the shrimp fork goes on the placemat?

Because excluding and judging who is acceptable to grace your table does the exact same damn thing. Your forgetting to put your napkin in your lap would horrify some people's sensiblities the same way you are implying these special needs kids offend yours.

You don't get to say I only want the pretty children at Christmas. You don't get to say you're not invited because you don't fit the Hallmark picture in my head.

FAMILY is the good, the bad, the ugly and supporting and loving each other through it all. Family is not just showing up for weddings and parties. It's showing up for funerals and at hospitals too.

@jencull said...

I had missed this so thanks for linking back to it today. I had also seen a few posts where families were asked not to attend services and I think that is just shocking. I will go splutter to myself for a while, but well said you!! Jen

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