“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”
~A.A. Milne, from "Winnie the Pooh"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Love is The Only Answer

Words sometimes hurt more than actions.
Sometimes words spoken carelessly can not be erased by a simple, "I'm sorry." 
Even when forgiveness is freely given, forgetting is usually a more daunting task. There are words that can be thrown about needlessly that, once spoken, can never be forgotten.

As Liddy's mama, I am not a stickler for political correctness about DS. Maybe I should be, but I'm just not. I have never subscribed to the theory that all words which could be taken in a derogatory manner should be banished from our language just because someone may take them in a way they were not intended to mean. 
After all, according to Webster's the traditional definition of gay means " happily excited , merry, keenly alive and exuberant , having or inducing high spirits, bright, lively, brilliant in color." The original meaning of the word itself was NOT derogatory. It was a compliment. However, we, as a society, have changed it into something that others feel is used to put them down or make them stand out. 
The same is true of that nasty r-word we mamas despair at hearing in reference to our children. The word itself was never meant to be a put down, or to make people like our kids feel bad about themselves. It was just a simple word with a meaning quite different from the one it infers in this day and age.
I don't have a problem with the word itself, if it isn't being thrown around as a weapon to intentionally hurt others.
Does this mean that I am ok with my daughter being called retarded? Absolutely not. She's not. She's bright and beautiful and deserves respect. She is an angel in my eyes, and in the eyes of everyone who loves her. 
However, I have to acknowledge that at some time in the future, as much as it hurts me, someone is probably going to use that word in reference to my child. Or even say it to my child.
This is something that, unfortunately, I have given a lot of thought to ever since the day I first heard the words Down Syndrome. 

We, as moms and dads, can advocate. We can work to educate. We can fight for our children to be given the exact same treatment as any other child. We can try to banish the word from the English language. All are noble causes and fights worth fighting.
But we also need to be realistic. No matter how many times we calmly and patiently, or sometimes even angrily, correct people we run across about the power of their words, we will never eliminate them completely. Sad, but true. And as much as we might want to, we will never be able to protect our children completely from those who will try to hurt them with their words.
So, in my house, the only option I can see is to raise my daughter to know that words only have the power to hurt you if you let them. 

" But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"~ Matthew 5:44

My bright and beautiful baby girl will be raised to know her own worth. She will never have a minute's doubt that she is loved immensely or that she is a vital part of our family. She will be taught that she is a gift, the greatest gift we could have ever asked for. She will know that she is smart, that she is beautiful, that she is precious beyond measure to us and to God. She will understand that she carries something extra, but that that little extra makes her absolutely amazing. 
And when she runs across that person who tries to belittle her, I hope that she remembers exactly how special she is. I hope she slaps on her sweetest smile, shakes her head, and says "It's ok. I know better. God loves you and so do I. You will be in my prayers" as she flounces away. 
Love, abounding, forgiving, unconditional love, is the only way to change the world. And it starts with one person.

Love CAN build a bridge. Love can succeed where a thousand words would fail. Love can bring the toughest person to their knees and it can lift the weakest to their feet. Love can destroy hatred, greed and ignorance. 

"And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."~1 Corinthians 13:13

Love is the ONLY answer.


  1. I just love you!! :) From Ky~

  2. I agree...I love you and your mothering. You are a smart cookie missy. But your word verification...not so much haha

  3. Ky, I love you more than you know.
    And Janie, I love you too! I already realized as I was writing this that not everyone would agree with what I had to say. And that's ok. How boring would our world be if we all thought exactly the same? Variety truly IS the spice of life. :)
    I still think that we should all "spread the word to end the word." I just, unfortunately, don't believe it is possible to erase it completely. Sadly enough, ignorance abounds and hateful people are everywhere.
    In light of that simple fact, our family has come to the conclusion that the very best thing we can do is teach Liddy better. To guide her in a way that those people who say nasty, mean, hateful things to her don't affect the way she feels about herself. To lead her to turn their hate around on them with pure, unadulterated love as only our precious kids can do.


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