Julia had a birthday on Thursday, and the little girls, Julia and I went shopping for her birthday presents.
We put Kara and Amanda in the big red stroller and Meghan walked along side us, she actually is doing pretty well on our shopping trips, staying close to me, coming back fast is she gets too far ahead. She does like to push her dad's buttons though, and runs off on him sometimes. (poor daddy)
We went to the mall; not my favorite place, the mall rats pushing their way through everyone, the vendors in your face from the kiosks, the rude stares. Julia wanted boots from a specific mall store, so I relented, the day was about her, not me.
She was excited to be picking out things to wear on her birthday, it is fun to shop with her. Taking the girls with us means the stroller gets caught on every display, we knock things over, and I am annoyed by the third store. Don't moms shop more than anyone else? Don't a lot of us use strollers? Why are displays placed so dang close together anyway?
So while we are maneuvering around obstacles and taking things out of Kara's hands, or getting Meghan out of a dress she wanted to try on (she likes the sparkly ones) we rarely notice other shoppers unless they stop and talk to us.
Wednesday, we did though, because they were openly glaring ( not to be confused with staring) at me and the little girls. Not everyone glared, some plainly stared or gawked, and a few asked if Kara and Amanda were twins. No one asked if I were their grandmother for once, I guess that was good. Julia and I just keep shaking our heads when people scowled at us, what is wrong with people?
I read a lot about Down syndrome in October, I read articles and then I read the comments made to the articles, and wonder why every single negative, rude, or hateful comment gets 68 thumbs up, while nice comments get 4?
The rude looks, the terrible comments, the women justifying abortion because of special needs, the surrogate mom fighting to keep the baby alive in her body because it may have Down syndrome and the parents do not want it born, trying to force her to abort because she signed a contract, and most people agree with the parents in the comment section? All of this tells me that people do not want children like mine alive and walking about them. Eugenics, so ugly, vile, and one of the worst ideas human beings have come up with.
What do I mean? Taken from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the biosocial movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population,"
Read more about it, I learned the word after Meghan was born, sure I heard it in sociology, especially when we discussed Hitler and Stalin...but I never had a reason to fear it. Knowing there are extremist advocates of this movement who would gladly kill my children if given the power makes my blood run cold (if I allow myself to think about it, I try not to).
Crazy Kris, come on, no one would kill your children? Is that so, there is a 92% abortion rate for women who have a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, so people are exterminating children with Down syndrome by the hundreds of thousands already. They are fetuses in the 5th month, some a week away from being viable if born early on their own (sure premies have their own sets of issues too). Some were born alive after a failed abortion attempt and placed in back room to die alone. Should I stop now? Do you understand why I get upset when a woman and her children glare at me and mine? If you really delve into our society, you would not like what you see.
I read a blog today that even churches are turning kids with Down syndrome away, a church should be the one place that welcomes them without reservation. Jesus loved everyone EVERYONE, not just the cognitively average-superior, the beautiful, or the able-bodied. "Your children are disrupting our service, we need to ask you to step out". This attitude is one reason why I left church years ago. I thought it was my specific denomination, but apparently this attitude is shared by others.
So you see my girls and I walking towards you in a store do you smile and say hello? Look away as soon as you notice us and not make eye contact, turn around and walk the other way? Or stare openly and scowl? People who read my blog would likely say hello, many have children with Down syndrome too. There are also nice people out there who are very sweet to us, I am not saying everyone is unkind. It is the unkind peoples faces I remember though, they stain my soul with their ugliness.
Because it is Down Syndrome Awareness month, there are articles everywhere featuring exceptional people with Down syndrome; artists, actors, advocates, couples getting married, but there are very few about the realities of what our lives are like as families.
So we write on our blogs in hopes that someone may read what we have to say, that perhaps a glimpse into our lives may help people see how really ordinary we are, just parents like you, raising children, working, paying a mortgage.
The main obstacles we have in our lives come from those who try to block our children from being fully included in school, church, sports, and other activities. People who still prefer the "Out of sight, out of mind" scenario where my children are concerned. I feel sorry for them, their lives are closed off versions of what they could be, while they see me and my youngest children as weird or different, I see those unkind people as incomplete. I was incomplete before Meghan was placed in my arms almost 10 years ago, I never knew it, but looking back, I can plainly see it. I also have a long way to go, and I am all for learning more, life is about growth.
2 days ago