Ever feel awkward or out of place or don't know what to say when the conversation rolls around to "How's Lauren?". I know that was me before Lauren - what do you say, how much do you ask, do you ask at all? Do you appear uninterested, insensitive or uncaring when not asking questions? Do you appear nosey, curious or ignorant when asking too many questions? What questions are "appropriate?" Which ones are not? Should you bring Lauren up or wait for us to bring her up? Treat her differently or treat her the same?
There's no quick and fast rule I've learned. Somedays, I'll totally be up for sharing everything - my smiles, my hopes, my tears of joy. And other days - just don't ask - I'll probably cry a river with my worries, my fears. Its still an emotional roller coaster. Better than before, yes, but still have the ups and downs.
Generally I do like to be open about what's going on. So yes, I do appreciate questions. I like to share more from the perspective of bringing awareness and knowledge about a world that not too many of us ever in our lifetime will have to encounter. A world nobody ever dreams they will be a part of, but for some of us, its not a choice but a given. A given that our new normalcy includes a world of therapies, medical appointments and specialists. That to learn is not so simply showing once, but practicing hundreds of times. That to grow is not so simply just eat, but choosing high fat, high calorie foods. That to hear is not so simply to speak and be heard, but requires a quiet, non-distracting environment. That to see is not so simply just open your eyes and see what's around you, but to see by experience, feeling and smelling. That to talk is not so simply open your mouth and the words and sounds will come out but...well I am still trying to figure this one out.
So yes, its a new world we are in. I grew up looking away from those in wheel chairs, those who physically looked different, those who talked funny, those why couldn't talk at all. I chose to ignore instead of to understand. I chose to look the other way instead of looking them in the eye. I chose to forget instead of facing them head on.
So what do I ask of you?
I am going to be a copy cat on this one. I read this on another blog and it is very well written.
My favorite points from this blog post:
"Teach your children that different is OK and be sure to include not just those of a different color, but those who move around differently, talk or hear differently, and even those whose bodies are different."
"Teach them that looking is OK if it’s done with a smile"
That is what I ask of you. And this is how I will raise Kayla. And she will know no different.