mom syndrome vs. the "shay-tards"

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Today is the national day when we focus on spreading the word to end the use of the "r" word so it seemed like a perfectly good day to us to start a little war.

You may have never heard of the Shay Carl family, we never had until we realized our kids were watching them on YouTube. They are apparently very over 3 million subscribers popular. Basically, they are just a normal family who do normal funny life stuff and post it on YouTube.

The problem we have is obviously the use of the word "tard' in their name, their nicknames for each other and their kids, and the fact that they sell merchandise with the word on it.

It isn't the whole word. We get it. And we know he claims it all started with his apparent love for unitards (we suggest he wear them more often if this is the case) and his concern for his kids safety on the internets but their full names are all over the internets now so that is apparently no longer an issue.

According to wikipedia (which is clearly always right because if it is on the internets it is true) Shay Carl is friends with some famous people like

Dave Ramsey (seriously Dave?)
Matt Damon
Charles Barkley
and I am sure the list goes on.

Here is what we want to do. We are calling Shay Carl out. We want him and his family to stop using any form of the "r" word. We realize that this word wasn't that big of a deal not too long ago, but it is now, and as parents of kids with special needs, we think it needs to stop. Will they respond? With your help I bet they will!! is where you come in: we need everyone in the special needs community to share. Share this post. Share our video on YouTube. Tweet at them and the other famous people that are their friends. 

Use #spreadthewordtoendtheword #shaycarl #shaytards and anything else creative you can come up with!

Tag. You're it!

Thanks for letting us share,


Stop teaching your kids not to stare

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Take 2 minutes and watch this video.

Did your parents teach you not to "stare" at people who were different? Mine did. And I believe they had the best intentions in doing so. But, what were they teaching us....... really?

Children are naturally curious, and rightly so. If we teach our kids that it is rude to look at someone who is different from them, aren't we sending them a terrible message? In the name of being politically correct or "polite" (we do a lot of that here in the South), aren't we are telling them:

"Don't look at that child because she is in a wheelchair and she doesn't want to be looked at."
{she wants so badly to be seen}

"Don't ask questions about why that little boy has brown skin and the rest of his family has white skin. That would be rude."
{his mom would likely love for you to ask because it gives her 
a chance to explain how God makes families}

"If you see a child who acts differently than you, just pretend you don't see them and go play with your "normal" friends"
{he just wants you to accept him.... even if he is different}

 "When people don't look like should just ignore them."
{isn't this the last thing we want to teach our kids?} 

Obviously I am not suggesting that we allow our kids to literally stare down someone who is different. But more often than not, the behavior we feel the need to correct is truly innocent curiosity.

Preserve the innocence of your children's eyes when they are young. Most adults I know could learn a lot by seeing the world through the eyes of a child.

Talk to your kids. Show them by example. Speak to people. Be kind. Use these opportunities to teach them something valuable. Help them understand.

But please, don't encourage them not to see.

Because everyone deserves to be seen!

Thanks for letting me share,

Dear lady in Wal-Mart. I saw you. And I saw your son.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Last Saturday afternoon I made a quick run to the Wal Marks to get a few things we needed around the house (wine. I needed wine ok?).

I was in a mad rush because Baby Zee was sick, and when he is sick I can't get very far away or be gone for very long.

As I rushed from aisle to aisle (I did get a few things other than wine) I noticed a woman. She was tall and wearing heels and looked super fancy and dressed up for a Saturday. Then I noticed what she had in her cart.

I would guess he was between 16 and 18 years old (I am really bad at age guessing so that could be way off). He was sitting in the grocery cart and his mom was piling her things on him and in his lap as she shopped. He was very happily playing with a little plastic toy. He had beautiful brown skin and perfect almond shaped eyes.

My first instinct was to catch up with the mom and say "Hey! I have one too! Actually I have two! They are babies but still! Isn't the Down syndrome club great?" or something super cheesy along those lines. I wish we could have ID bracelets or some sort of visible indication that we are in "the club" so we don't have to do the awkward "I have one too" conversation.

As I walked behind her in the Saturday Wal Marks main aisle traffic jam fully intent on catching up with her and attempting to say something non awkward I noticed something.

As people came towards her, within a split second they would notice that she had an adult sized person in her cart. Then they would see (or I guess assume) that he had special needs. Then they would immediately look away as if they were thinking

"Oh crap. Her son has special needs. I don't want her to think I am staring at her.... or him I am going to quickly pretend I am looking at these lovely tomatoes. Look at me...looking at the tomatoes....not staring at you. Whew."

The people kept coming, and they kept doing the awkward looking away. Each and every one of them.

And then I did something dumb. I checked out and I left. I really regret not speaking to her.

She might not give the slightest crap that people were avoiding making eye contact with her. She probably is used to it or doesn't even notice it in the first place. But I still would have felt better if I had spoken to her, or at least made eye contact and smiled at her.

Guys, there are lot of people in our world who are different. Families who have adopted a child of another race. Families who have kids with special needs. Families that are big. Families that have kids with obvious medical issues. Let me clue you in on something:

You don't have to avoid seeing them. They already know they are different....and they are ok with it.

As if your making eye contact with them or their children would make them say

"that man just gave me a polite smile....holy crap balls honey did you ever notice before now that this kid we adopted is black!!???"

See people. Just like you see everyone else. No one wants to feel invisible.

Thanks for letting me share,