There is no way that I am going to finish THAT sentence as one Halloween I did something so embarrassing there is no way I would want my mom to find out. Instead I am going to tell you how THIS Halloween I finished the 31 for 21 Challenge by posting every day.
It was a great month, but I questioned my goal of awareness. It seems to me that awareness it great. I want people to be aware that children like Bridget exist. Children (and adults) with challenges: the unknown, autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other diseases/syndromes.
Awareness alone, though should be be done. I think people are aware. After all there is very few of us who do not encounter a person with a disability at some point in our life. I understand that until you know a Bridget or someone like her, do not understand what it means to have a child or to be an adult with a disability.
Yet I understand that unless you have the blessing to have a Bridget in your life, you do not comprehend how wonderful it can be. That creating empathy is more important than showing sympathy.
I wonder if what we should be calling these days/months is a month of acceptance (insert cause here). That not all children (or people) are the same. That we all have challenges, each and every one of us.
Children with a disability are at 63% more at risk of being bullied by their typical peers. Parents of children with disability are more likely to divorce, to become hermits and to become suicidal.
Awareness is crucial to our children (and families) navigating this strange and difficult world. Our families need to be accepted for who we are: equal part tantrums and smiles.
Acceptance happens when not one but 20 friends take the pledge to never say the word retard again. Ever.
Acceptance occurs when parents do not allow their child to bully another.
Acceptance happens when slow down and hold the door for a person struggling, giving them a smile not a look of pity.
Acceptance is when you see a family in a restaurant with an out of control child and buy them a drink instead of asking your waitress to move your table.
Acceptance happens where Awareness ends and Empathy begins.
One Halloween I went on a rant about the importance of awareness and acceptance. Which is not how I expected to finish the sentence