Lately, I feel like I say the same old crap to the same old rolling eyes. It's starting to make me want to shut up, for just a little while.
Sometimes I can even catch people looking at me, waiting for me to cut in. Like when I hear somebody say, "God, I'm so retarded." Theres a pause in the room, because I've become so predictable they know I want to say something, but most days I don't feel like I have the fight in me.
I know people wonder why I'm so passionately against the "R-word" considering my son was born with a faulty spine and not a faulty chromosome. So I've decided to touch briefly on the subject, if not to clear the air then at least to get my talking fix in.
When I gave birth to Roman, I became a member of a very exclusive club. NOT just a mother to a son who has Spina Bifida, a mother to a special needs child. This club is open to ALL special needs children.
Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Spina Bifida, etc. It honestly doesn't matter how rare or common the condition is, to us, they may as well be the same because we're fighting for the same common goal. Respect us, respect our children.
When you call yourself, or a friend, a "retard" in front of me. I don't think to myself, "Oh, they didn't mean it like that."
I see a mother terrified of the human race, trying to protect her child from people who can so easily spread blind hate. People who bully, ridicule and are intolerant of our children just because they are a little different.
It doesn't matter if that mother is me, rubbing my fingers across Roman's shunt or another mother looking into her child's almond shaped eyes. To us, it stabs the exact same. It burns, it rips, it hurts.
Now, since I am sobbing quite hysterically both because I'm a hormonal roller coaster and also very, very sad I need to try and lighten the mood.
Below, I have listed some name alternatives that you could use in place of "retard" Unless of course you're using them to offend somebody, in that case your only option is to stick your tongue out at a mad elephant.
Instead of jokingly calling yourself a "retard" (Listen close, Jennifer Aniston!) try these fun names.
"Wow, I bombed that test. I'm a jellybean."
"I've seen Popsicles write better essays."
"Did I really do that? Boy, I'm a real carrotball today."
"Ohh yikes, you hit "reply all?!" That's the most fudge covered froggy thing I have heard all day." (Okay, it was a stretch but saying "fudge covered froggy" brings me great joy and it's hard to fit into a sentence.)
While preparing for a long night on the town with your best buddy try saying, "We're going to get crunk tonight." For two reasons, saying you're going to get "retarded" will make all the girls think you're a jerk and no amount of liquor will make them want to kiss you on the cheek at the end of the night. Alternatively, if you say, "Let's get crunk." They'll think you're hip and that probably really know how to "kick it" This will ensure plenty of kisses at 10:30, when you're all coming home.
Instead of insisting that your friend rides "The short bus" insist instead that they ride the bus that every single person has wanted to ride in and are secretly steaming mad that they haven't yet been invited. (If you're denying it, you're a liar. Think of how many conversations I could have at once in that thing!)
Okay, so these are all kind of a stretch, especially since not many of you are "writing essays" or "bombing tests" but the point is, I'm begging you to rethink your words, consider the impact, replace the R word, spread the word to END the R word.
Remember, "Manners are very communicable: Men catch them from each other" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I stopped crying.