Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The "R" Word

Last week I went to one of my favorite childrens clothing stores for some shopping. The district manager was there, store was crazy, so she was checking people out. We were chatting about things and as I went to sign the keypad for the credit card machine it got stuck. She kept resetting it, but no luck. Her comment.. "its OK, it is acting retarded...um, uh, funny,uh...so sorry.." She was completely flustered from that point on. I have to say the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I know she meant no harm, wasn't intentionally being hurtful, and the comment wasn't being directed at my son or any other developmentally delayed or impaired child.

What it did was make me evaluate my own actions and comments over the years. I don't use that word, never have, never will, but I am sure there are things I have said that have been completely insensitive to others. I think of my friends that have kids with unique gifts and I keep wondering if I said things unknowingly that were hurtful. For that I am truly sorry. While you know it never would have been my intent, I feel the need to apologize. I made assumptions about things without thinking. As I find myself learning more about inclusion I reflect on my past thoughts that special programs might be best, so the kids might not get "hurt" by mean other kids. This view is NOT one I take for Parker and I expect him to be a contributing member of society. Don't re-evaluate everything you've ever said to me or will say to me in the future. What I know is we all make mistakes, we all need grace and forgiveness. Just wanted to share that I need that grace and forgiveness as well!

But please, remove the "R" word from your vocabulary. I pray that my kids won't ever hear that comment especially as it relates to their brother, but I am prepared if it happens.

Rant over! :)
We had school off yesterday and the girls had fun feeding Parker. He wasn't sure what to expect, they were coming at him from both sides!


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