Today I was going to post about all the activities we have been into over the past week and medical updates. Well, as I was on Renee's blog and read her post on "Why it Hurts" everyone should read this post! http://myspecialks.blogspot.com/ On another day this past week I read on Jennifer's blog "Are you feeling Shopworn" http://mistergavin.blogspot.com/ her story also hit home. I have such a great deal of respect for these ladies. They are great moms, who have tough jobs, but their benefits are priceless! I was already upset about this same subject so, I wanted everyone to see what families with handicap children go through ...or at least our families. Warning!!! I'm on my soap box!
I'm not sure that the word hurt can describe the way one feels when someone they love is being mocked, joked about, teased, or laughed at. Then there are the times that people call Jonathan retarded. The word retarded didn't start out as a bad thing, but over time and being miss used it's now looked at in a negative light. Yes, I have a child that would be classified as retarded...that isn't who he is!!! I often wonder if some people see him as a human being equal to them. Then again I sometimes wonder if they are equal to him...just kidding...or am I ?! It makes me frustrated, hurt, and defensive then, I want to shelter Jonathan. Why is it that people can be so shallow ??? You would think with the way technology has taken off over the past 20 or 30 years so would our view about people with disabilities. It's time that people wake up and smell the coffee and see the FANTASTIC people around them, people with disabilities.
Here is another reason the "R" word hits home. I went to get James and Jonathan out of James' Awana room last Sunday. Jonathan isn't in James' class but waits in James' class for us to pick him up. So, I go in and I ask James if they are ready, he turns and says "Yes", with big tears in his eyes. He walks very fast to the door, leaving Jonathan and I to follow. I grab James' arm and ask if he is OK, he says," NO please lets go." As we get into the hall I then ask what happened. That is when he puts his head into my stomach wraps his arms around my waist and begins to cry. I wasn't sure what had happened, after a little TLC he quit crying. He said that the other boys, his peers ask what was wrong with Jonathan. James said "I told them Jonathan has down syndrome" but, they didn't understand. Then he said I told them that God made him different "special" The boys then laughed and began to question why Jonathan can't talk and if he can hear. James said "he can talk it's just hard for you to understand him, and he can't hear like us that's why he wears hearing aids." Then they questioned why he wears diapers, James said "he doesn't he wears pull-ups because he has accidents." Well that just put James on overload....it would have most adults! UGH!!! We got everyone to the van and we had a mini sermon (I'm good at that) about what happened. It made Madison really upset, he also has to deal with this with his peers. Madison started to say, well they are all just ST_ P_D! I had to stop that fast we don't say that word, the little boys call that a bad word...oh' to be that innocent. Then, Madison said I know how James feels sometimes it makes me want to cry. As the adult what do you say to that...ME TOO!!! I then had to tell them that we need to pray for others that don't see people who are disable like Jesus and we do and, then I let them know it makes me sad also. I would much rather be hurt than to see my children hurt. They love Jonathan so much and want others to see him as they do. I get upset but, I'm glad at this point Jonathan doesn't know when others are talking about him. He does know when others don't like him and that hurts.
To me I think this shows that parents aren't helping their children learn about people with disabilities. I guess because most of them haven't taken the time and don't understand. I'll work on this part of Tennessee to help others see disable or developmentally delayed people for who they are. They are bright wonderful people with so much to give, if you take the time to slow down and notice. The Bible says we are created in HIS image Genesis 1:27 and it says 8 different times in the Bible to love your neighbor as yourself. This subject is one that brings me to sin from frustration and anger. I pray each time this comes up that God will take these feelings from me and forgive me for my thoughts. I cling to this verse, Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I thank God for His love and grace. I want to praise the Lord for each of the children He has given us. And, thank Him for loving us enough to bless us with Jonathan, we feel honored to call him our child. I'm also thankful for my good friend Dianne she is Jonathan's Awana teacher and Mr. Mike Jonathan's Sunday school buddy for helping him each week. Jonathan is also blessed with a buddy named Caleb. He is in 6th grade and has taken Jonathan under his wing. Caleb is one of a kind. My prayer for those who have a special needs child is God give you peace,patience, strength, and understanding. Thanks for letting me vent. I don't do that to often...well Arthur would tell you different. HaHa
Update on James, it took him a couple of days before he let it go. He has talked about it a few more times and says it still hurts his feelings. I'm sure this won't be the last time James has to deal with someone talking about Jonathan, I know each time James will be stronger and a much better person because of it. Yet, it still may hurt:(