I’ve been a crying mess these last few days. There have been so many good things and bad things, and things just out of my control, leaving me feeling excited, mad, angry, hopeful, hopeless….
One of the things that just has me straight up angry is the whole ridiculously stupid movie, The Change Up, controversy. (SAVE YOUR MONEY, go watch the Smurf’s! haha)
**I’ve admitted before, I am not so easily offended by the word Retarded, especially when people mean no offense. I still don’t like it and it makes me cringe; I will speak up and say something in most cases. IF you are a good friend and/or family member I am hoping I never have to say anything to you (OR YOUR CHILDREN) because hopefully by now you have either realized it really is an ugly word, or you have learned to walk on eggshells around me (which I rather you not and just learn to get the word out of your vocabulary.)**
And in case you have been a hermit this past week or you are not an member of the “disability” community you might not know what I am talking about :
There is a scene in the movie where Ryan Reynolds character visits his long-time friend, Jason Bateman’s character, he sees his twins in their high chairs and says, “Why aren’t they talking –what are they retarded?” then “and this one , he looks Downsy.”
Seriously, who the hell talks like that… real life or a movie? Even before Ethan I would never dare ask anyone if their kids where “retarded” or “Downsy”… trash trash trash! And I’ve never even heard of that term pre or after Ethan… THANKS stupid trashy movies for throwing more slurs out there for other dim-witted people to use. And the fact that they specifically were making fun of Down syndrome is infuriating
But then what added to my emotional mess is how I have a dear FB friend (yes you Erica!), whom I have sadly not met although she lives right outside of Houston, whose 17 month old is recovering from open heart surgery. Overall he’s seems to be recovering fine, but some of her statuses have just broken my heart. (Please continue to keep them in your prayers!)I know many parents of children with Ds who have been down this road, some of their children had open heart surgery at just MONTHS old. I cannot even image the fear and worries that accompanies such an event. And honestly, we are still not 100% sure Ethan might not need heart surgery, granted it wont be open heart surgery, and we wont know until he is 3.
And it JUST angers me how our children are the BUTT OF MANY JOKES. After our children have to endure such complicated and risky procedures such as open heart surgery… Our children are at a higher risk of leukemia, heart diseases, thyroid, hearing, vision problems. And at the end of all of this, they look at us with a smile, full of love, hope and determination.
My sweet little darling that I love more and more with each heart beat. He, along with his peers with Ds, has had so many challenges and it is so confusing for me to see how our children ended up as being a joke. Because maybe they look a little different? Because they might talk a little different? Walk a little different? -Ha! and I laugh… I laugh/cry at that thought BECAUSE damn it, it wasn’t easy. I remember holding Ethan up against a wall… “come on son, walk to me.. come on baby… you can do it…” and just staring into his eyes, anxiously waiting for that first step. And yes, he might walk a little different, but he’s walking. And I’ll take that. It wasn’t easy.
He struggles to talk. I know he wants to. He just can’t. So in the end, what if he does talk a little different… it’s ok, at least he’ll be talking. At least he’ll be able to tell me he loves me. And really, what mother doesn’t want to hear that, no matter how it comes out.
Recently, we were lying in bed watching TV, a commercial comes on with a doggie, Ethan jumps up and puts his tiny lips together and makes some sort of humming sound, he was trying to bark. My heart soften and the biggest smile spread across my face.
Barking, along with meowing and moo’ing came natural to my girls at his age, I never thought ONCE, when will my little girl make a “meow” sound… IT JUST HAPPENED. Yet, here I am wondering when will Ethan meow.
But somehow Ethan and everyone like him are targets and victims of cruel jokes. And somehow society has made it acceptable, thanks to ridiculous movies like The Change UP.
Well it is not ok to make fun of my son. IT IS NOT OK. He is a human being. He is not less valuable. He and his friends are WARRIORS!
I don’t know how the rest of world overlooked that fact.