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:)
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!