mama be good.
“Disability opened doors for me and my son because it opened my mind. I saw choices where I’d seen none before. That other path, that typical path, was set in stone: best schools, best extracurricular, best arts program, best courses, best grades, best university, best job. I couldn’t see that all these “bests” were my anxiety, my trying to control the chaos of life, the ways I was narrowing the experiences life can offer because I was too afraid. Disability made me stop and say, Why am I so afraid? Life’s chaos will happen, no matter how tight we think our grip is, no matter how much we try to control our lives and our children’s, no matter how much we scrub our bathroom floors. Disability showed me I had two choices: I could learn to be comfortable with the chaos. Or I could lead a life of anxiety. I realized how disabled I had been in my life by my fear. That’s disability. That’s not the kind of life I want for my child.
And that’s when I saw all the choices. That education didn’t mean school. That learning didn’t mean listening passively to a teacher. That play is more important than tying shoes. That an emotional foundation, not skill sets, was the first priority for children. That tickling a child’s foot for fun is fundamentally different from moving a child’s foot for therapy – and that children can feel the difference in their brains. My job as a parent is the same as any other parent’s, non-disabled or disabled child. My job is to love, comfort, nurture, soothe, play, and talk. My job is to feed my child’s curiosity by exposing him to the world, people, music, machines, animals, nature. My job is to allow him to try things so he can find something he loves to do. My job is to allow him to feel, to really feel how wonderful he is just the way he is right now and that he doesn’t need to be fixed.” [#]