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Friday, July 29, 2011

Retarded

I was reading back through some of my old posts the other day, chuckling at the antics of my children and imagining them in therapy griping about how their mother posted ALL of their humiliating moments on TEH INTERNETS, when I was startled to find that in not one, but two posts I had used the word retarded.

Some people would say that that is not a big deal. Some people would say that is just a word.

But...words hurt.

I have been, at various points in my life and by various people that I love and that I thought loved me, been called all of the following:  Stupid, worthless, a slut, a bitch, a whore, a fucking bitch (distinct from just a bitch, mind you), cold hearted, evil, soulless, selfish, lazy, unmotivated, white trash, fat, and dumb.  And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Harmful words, sometimes spoken with the intent to hurt; sometimes just carelessly tossed around.

Words hurt.  I should know.

That is why I am ashamed that I used that word, to imply something that is less than.  Something stupid, not worth my time, not normal.  I should know better.

I want really badly to go back and erase the evidence that I did that.  I have chosen, however, to leave it as is.  To remind myself of my growth as a human being; to show myself that yes, I have made progress.  I can always be more compassionate.  My awareness can always go up.

I like to call myself a feminist.  Feminist issues ARE everyone's issues.  The mistreatment of a person with limited capabilities is no less discriminatory than the mistreatment of a woman.  Words hurt and matter just as much in either situation.  It is not being hysterical or overly sensitive or not being able to take a joke.  It is being aware that we are not isolated islands.  As hokey as it sounds, we are all interconnected.

Everyone has the right to dignity and equality.  Words do matter, and I need to start being more careful with mine.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big

It happened overnight, I swear it.

Alexis is a big kid.  She has magically started to have the characteristics and mannerisms of a school kid and not a preschooler.  It was really the little things that I noticed....things like her asking me, "Mommy, do you realize that I have TWO glasses of milk in the fridge?"  (Do I realize...WTF?  Who taught her to talk like that?); things like her earnestly explaning to her father what was going on during Spongebob so he would be up to speed; things like her not needing her potty seat to poop anymore and wanting to wash her own body in the bathtub.

She still drives me nuts.  Out of my three girls, she is very definitely the most challenging.  She tests me at every turn; she does not perform up to what I think she should sometimes; she constantly turns over on their head all of my expectations and dreams that I have for her.  Yet, I also have had the easiest time in other matters with her.   She will avoid new experiences like Michelle Bachmann avoids acknowledging that conversion therapy is crap, yet she was so easy to potty train.  She has constant, sometimes debilitating anxiety about social situations and change, yet I never really had to baby proof the house because she never got into things she was not supposed to.  She constantly challenges my rules and the lines I try to draw for her (when I tell her we are going to clean the toys up then go outside, she ALWAYS says, "How about we go outside first and then clean?"  Always...) yet she desperately wants to please me and her father.  She is a bundle of contradictions and always will be...but before she did it in a way that was so young.

Now she possesses a maturity that sometimes astounds me.  She tries so hard to overcome her fears.  She tries so hard to be a helper and loves her baby sister with a ferocity that astounds me.  The things  that come out of her mouth...I had someone recently tell me that they love my Facebook updates because of the shit I put on there that she says.  Everyone who meets her adores her and says she is so cute and funny.  And all of this happened overnight.

I swear.