***Lyrics from a song by Barry Manilow***
Well, so far I haven't failed my NYR (New Year's Resolution for those who are acronym challenged). Although it's not actually the new year....semantics.
After my complaints about 2009 in yesterday's post, I came across a post today by Brett Battles at Murderati . In it, Brett talks about the good things he came away with during the year. Like most of the posts at Murderati, it got me thinking. Unfortunately I can't think of anything about 2009 to be thankful for, but in his post, Brett mentions how nervous they are about his son making the transition to high school in the fall. His son has Down Syndrome.
In today's day and age you can't help but worry about your children and how they'll handle moving from one stage of life to the next, especially if they're handicapped. My daughter is handicapped. She has Cerebral Palsy, Scoliosis and Type One Diabetes. Her CP isn't as severe as some, she's ambulatory (meaning she can walk, no wheelchair or assistance needed). She's smart as a whip...an A/B student and takes regular classes, although some are c0-taught. She has difficulty speaking (because of a tongue thrust) and she has difficulty with her gross and fine motor skills (she needs assistance getting dressed sometimes and brushing her hair). But, the thing about Manda that touches everyone she meets is that, she doesn't think of herself as handicapped (and she doesn't like the lable). She's always ready to greet you with a smile. She's happy and friendly to everyone she meets (although she can instantly dislike someone if they're rude or mean).
She's a typical teenager-- goes to the mall, hangs out with friends, chats on Facebook and even has a job as an usher at the local movie theater. She's a senior in high school and is planning to attend the Art Institute in Arizona this fall, to be a pastry chef.
Like any normal teenager, she has goals and a plan of what she wants to do with her life. As her parent, it's my responsiblity to make sure her goals are realistic (like, sorry baby, you can't be a ballerina or a singer--although she has great tone). I've always tried not to shield her from too much, because I know how cruel the world can be and over the course of her life we've been very lucky in that she has never had any problems with bullies. Of course that could also be because from day one in kindergarten I made a point to be at her school regularly and scare the bejeezus out of anyone who dared look at her cross-eyed. haha
Even today there are a lot of kids in her class who will go out of their way to make sure she is protected and that no one bothers her. It says a lot about society and how we've changed from calling the children with handicaps "freaks" to saying they have "special needs" and treating them as equals.
So, if I have to say something good about 2009 it will be that even with the diagnosis of Type One Diabetes and knowing she will be insulin dependant for the rest of her life, Manda stayed strong and focused, she took the punch and got up, dusted herself off and continued to live.
She never let the CP define her and she doesn't let the diabetes. She's going to make her mark in the world and I can't wait to see what she does.
Okay, so this post had nothing to do with New Years Eve, but I warned ya yesterday, I'll be rambly. ;-)
Thanks for stopping by