Coming to Terms with Disability in my Life

That is this week’s blog hop prompt. Disability in my life. I guess I don’t think much about my children being disabled.

They can run. They can laugh. They can eat, and poop. They can sing and dance. They can fight, whine, and pout. They can swing and splash and ride their little trikes. For the most part they can even communicate fairly well, if you count Kimani throwing her highchair tray at me as a way of saying, “I am hungry so let’s eat.”

What can’t they do? (Well, Kimani has the longest list I suppose. And if I simply focus on her, disability is a word I might use, or not.) What they can’t do is process information the way you do. They don’t store things in memory as quickly as you do. They aren’t as smart  as the average person.

If not smart is a disability, then I know a lot of disabled people. But I won’t digress.

At home, my girls are not disabled. In fact, those able little creatures outnumber the “really” able children. They outnumber the “really” able adults too, so here, they are the norm. But out there, they are labeled as disabled. They are treated as if they are disabled. They are exluded. They have to “try out” and prove themselves ready  for things that are a given to the rest of us. Their behavior is constantly watched, judged, and discussed. Everything they do wrong is attributed to their disability.

That has been hard to come to terms with. It has turned me into an advocate, a fighter, and at times a bitch. It is time-consuming. Changing the world to see them the way we do is a constant battle of sorts.

And while I welcome all questions from friends, family, and even strangers… I don’t need praise for being a saint  or pity for having so much on my plate. I do sometimes need special supports and accommodations for Kimani, the wrecker, to be involved in events and her community. And those who give us that are the real saints.

Eventually, I may be faced with hurdles my girls can’t jump, like driving a car or in Kimani’s case, moving out. Maybe then it will feel like there is a disability in my world. But for now, disability is just a word that other people use when they talk about my loves.

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Yeah, that’s me following behind my “disabled” 4 year old as she scrambled up the play structure in the park.

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