RSS

Day 3 of 31 ~ A Day in the Life ~

03 Oct

Today was a lazy day…no appointments, therapies, or programs.  Just me and my boys all morning, and then Jake had a “play date” with gramma this afternoon (he is still there, and I hardly know what to do with myself…the house is so quiet with only one little guy!).

I got my camera out to take some pictures this morning, only to discover that Jake knows what a camera is now, and knows what to do when it is pointed at him!  Every time he saw the camera, he would make a goofy smiling face!  I was trying to capture him playing with one of his favorite toys, and the moment he saw me, he immediately started crawling over, making the poser face:)


And so as not to be left out, I also decided to include a picture of my littlest cutie, Cole!

Since today is a quiet day with not much going on, let me share a thought with you.  I would welcome feedback, discussion, and/or criticism of this thought (as long as the criticism is constructive…I am a delicate soul sometimes!)…

…I hate the “R-word”.  Yep, the word “retard” or “retarded“.  I absolutely hate it.

The funny thing is, that before I had Jake, I used it as a part of my vocabulary all the time.  To the point where my husband actually asked me to stop using it, because it bothered him.  At that point in my life, I couldn’t imagine what the big deal was.  I never intentionally used it in a derogatory way, I never used it when I was talking about individual people, and I never associated it with actual disabilities.  It was just one of those words that seemed to fit in certain situations (I have now replaced it with the word “ridiculous”).

After I had Jake, though, I immediately stopped using it.  The word took on a whole new meaning for me, as I came to realize that once upon a time, not too long ago, that is the word that many would have used to describe Jake.  My precious son, my perfect little baby boy, my pride and joy.  In an instant, after recognizing the impact of the word as it took on a whole new meaning for my context, I was disgusted with myself for ever having deemed it an appropriate word to use in every day vocabulary.

I cringe now when I hear people use it in their vocabulary.  And I’m not always sure what to do about it.  I know that not many people today would actually come out and call Jake a retard (and if they did, this momma bear would let them have it!).  And I know that most of the people in my life who do use it, do not do it intentionally, and never think of Jake when they are using it.  But I still don’t like it.

So…if you can, please join me in abolishing the use of this word from our vocabularies, I would really appreciate it.  And I know Jake would too.  My amazing, awesome, inspiring, fantastic son Jake deserves so much more.  I know it.  And I know you know it too.

PS.  If you are reading this and you have used this word around us, know that I’m not mad, I don’t hold it against you, and I’m not harboring any sort of a grudge.  I just don’t like it!

Advertisements
 
12 Comments

Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

12 responses to “Day 3 of 31 ~ A Day in the Life ~

  1. Catherine Craven

    October 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Karyn- I follow your posts religously, so I’m really looking forward to a whole month of posts!! My cousin is involved in a campaign in the states called “spread the word to end the word”- http://www.r-word.org... you probably already know about this, but if not, you might like some of their resources 🙂 Miss you my dear! You’re an amazing person.

     
  2. Eileen Bain

    October 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    HELLO……JUST A SHORT NOTE TO LET YOU KNOW I HAVE NEVER USED THE WORD……EXCEPT WHEN A DRIVER CUT ME OFF….LOL….SERIOUSLY…..I HAVE ALWAYS GOT GOOSE BUMPS OVER THAT WORD…….I FOR SURE CAN UNDERSTAND YOUR FEELINGS……I STILL CRINGE IF A HEAR THE WORD….IN FACT IF I WAS WITH SOMEONE THAT TALKED THAT WAY….I DID AND STILL DO CORRECT THEM…..

    WHEN MY KIDS WERE SMALL THERE WAS A MAN WHO HAD PROBLEMS…..MIKE WAS ABOUT 4 AT THE TIME AND STARTED TO COPY HIM…….IT WAS ABOUT THE TIME OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS……ANYHOW….THE NEXT DAY I CALLED THEM AND VOLUNTEERED MYSELF CATHIE AND MICHAEL FOR VOLUNTEERS TO HELP OUT……..WE DID THAT FOR A FEW YEARS…….IT WAS THE BEST LEARNING OPPORTUNITY THEY EVER HAD………ALL 3 OF US HAVE AN UNSPOKEN CARING FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS……..

    WE LOVE YOUR SPECIAL GUY….AND COULD NOT BE ANY PROUDER OF THE WAY YOU ARE HANDLING YOUR LIVES WITH HIM……NEVER THINK YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG…..BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU ARE ….JAKES PARENTS……

    HE IS SUCH A HAPPY LITTLE SOUL………

    HUGS AND LOVE TO ALL 4 OF YOU AUNTIE EILEEN

     
    • karynslater

      October 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

      Thanks so much Auntie Eileen! And you did a fantastic job of raising your children to be aware and to be caring. At the wedding, Mike was SO GREAT with Jake…he had him for almost the whole night and I really felt like Jake and him had an unspoken special bond. So, thanks for raising your kids so wonderfully:) And thanks for the love and support.

       
  3. Nancy

    October 4, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Spread the word to end the word … oh yeah!!!! Jessie (my daughter) did a little blog about it and promoted it at our church (good ol’ United). We also had cards made (with permission from the org/blogger where I first saw them, over at Dave Hingsburger’s Rolling Around in my Head … go see his blog if you haven’t already at http://davehingsburger.blogspot.ca/) for my daughter to hand out when she hears the word in public. It often upsets her and she tries to say something to the person using it,but sometimes the words are hard to get out through the emotion. The cards read (on one side) WORDS HIT and on the other they read: Words do HIT, like a fist. And when you use words like r#tard it hurts people. I heard you, and it hurt me. Many people with disabilities consider r#tard the most offensive word referring to disability. I agree. Bigots use negative terms for minorities. R#tard is the same, its hate speech. Consider carefully your words and what you write. Because . . . Words. Hit. Hard. As a fist. So just stop it. Please. And go to http://www.r-word.org/ to pledge to stop using the R-Word.

     
  4. Jenny

    October 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Before Russell I used the word all the time because I just never really thought about it…Now when I hear some one else say it, it feels like a punch in the gut…It makes me sad. I don’t jump down people’s throats when I hear them use the word…But I do tell them why it bothers me and ask that they make an effort not to use it.

    Love the pictures of the boys 🙂

     
    • karynslater

      October 5, 2012 at 12:42 am

      I feel the exact same way…like a punch in the gut.
      Hey…I’d love to have an email/facebook convo with you about your last post…I am intrigued and would like to bounce some questions off you, if you’re up for it. If not, absolutely no worries at all.

       
  5. Janelle

    October 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Thank you Karyn for addressing this square in the face! I am so with you on the use of the ‘R’ word! I have never liked the word, as I grew up with a cousin blessed with Down Syndrome. He is now a 54 year old man….loving life!! What a joy to have been raised with him in my life! I sincerely believe God put him in my life to prepare me for the life I now enjoy with my almost 23 year old developmentally delyaed daughter. I too cringe at the use of the ‘R’ word and love your honesty! Thank you!! Also LOVE your blog….I share it with many!

     
    • karynslater

      October 5, 2012 at 12:43 am

      Thanks Janelle! And I love your daughter too…what a sweetheart:)
      Thanks for your support and encouragement. It means the world…

       
  6. Kathy L

    October 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Karyn,

    I worked with Special Olympics as a teen and young adult, stood up for kids in my jr. and sr. that were challeneged in one way or another… until not that long ago I used the r word in my speech with no thought as to how it affected others. It was in a conversation with Deanne, that she pointed out my use of said word, that I realized just how hurtful and awful it was. I was sickened and ashamed of myself. Not long after that conversation my daughter was bullied on her school bus and the r word was aimed at her. I was so heartbroken and hurt for her. Needless to say the word is no longer part of my vocab, and I point out it’s useage to those around me…. Thank you for continuing to be real, you are an inspiring woman!

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: