Monday, June 14, 2010

You dont have to understand me, but please RESPECT me

(daddy holding Ethan... wearing his Spread the Word to End the Word Shirt...)

Sometimes it’s like I am this tape recorder and constantly repeating myself…

That I myself get tired of myself! BUT I just can’t accept it! I can’t accept that my friends and family continue to use the R-word. Nor will I ever accept it. I just cannot. And you wouldn’t either if you were in my shoes.

I say, we can all stay friends, we can continue to have good times, but at not at the expense of my son’s “medical” condition.

Here is it is, plain and simple:

Because Ethan has Down Syndrome, his IQ will fall somewhere in the lower than average range, so he will be labeled “mentally retarded”. So when you think you are being cute and funny by calling yourself/friends/people/things “retarded” and implying they are stupid and/or dumb, well take a look at my son, IS HE STUPID. I think not. And I don’t care if the word is used as slang these days, the word still means what it means, just like the color RED is the color RED and nothing will change that.

Please know that this word HAUNTS me and it hurts to hear it from friends and family.

Every day I try to run away from this word, every single day it pops out of people’s mouth, some who know no better, some who do know better.

I try so hard to not be offended… but my heart is what becomes offended. My heart aches every time someone misuses the word. It’s the one word that will always set my son apart, the one word that will make my son different.

It will bring me to tears, it will bring his sisters to tears, as they one day will stand up for their brother as well.

I might not understand you, but I respect you, and your children,… I respect you and your choices and life. I respect you.

You might not understand what I feel, but I ask you to respect me and to respect my son.

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