Monday, February 15, 2010

The Inadequate Advocate


I often feel like I'm an inadequate advocate (try saying that 10 times fast) for my daughter. I know that my family will all say that isn't so, but I don't feel like I get involved in the issues enough. I'm aware of the issues, sometimes just peripherally, but I'm just not willing to sacrifice the time away from her to attend meetings/conferences/educational seminars/other events, or to speak up beyond the occasional Facebook post. Part of it is selfish, as I am very protective of my time with her, and not being with her for the few hours it would take to attend one of these events (outside of work, of course) makes me feel like I've been cheated and that I'd be missing out on something equally important. But I think some of it may stem from a lack of confidence in my knowledge of the issues, and I certainly can't speak about what I don't think I am fluent in, and am woefully unprepared for. While I know that there are so many other people out there who are making their voices heard, I also know that it's never enough. There is always so much need for so much more.

I am truly committed to my little girl. I want the world for her, and I expect the world to fall at her feet. That's a part of the problem, too. Denial. Denial is a dangerous thing and to deny that there are and will continue to be obstacles is to deny my daughter of the power to stand up and advocate for herself one day. We need to know what those obstacles are in order to overcome them.

I'm keeping this (relatively) short and sweet today, for once. I think I've quite possibly rambled on more in three paragraphs than I ever did in my super-long, book-sized posts. I just hope that nobody who reads this will take what I say the wrong way, or think that I'm off my rocker - I've just been aware of how much is hitting the fan right now in the media, and I realize that now is the time to really try to step up and take advantage of this door that's opening for all of the people out there whose lives have not yet been touched by someone with an intellectual disability. The time to try to take advantage of it without compromising the indescribable, overpowering joys of mothering this amazing, beautiful little girl.

8 comments:

Carol N. said...

Well said, Becca! I would like to e-mail you the PowerPoint I did for the school board meeting. Lots of pictures of Aidan... :o)

Ambitions of a Trophy Wife said...

Your ramblings make perfect sense! I often feel the same! Its so hard to juggle my time between my children and Walker's needs. I wish that I could advocate more, but know that right now is not the right time. I hope in the future I will be able to invest more! Thanks for giving these feelings a voice!

momtofourgirls.Kari said...

I agree! Too much drama in my own life to spend time away from my family trying to educate ingnorant people. I totally understand :) I am grateful for those who do have the time and energy... I guess our time will come; but not at the expense of our precious time with our children :)

amy flege said...

great post!! I know exactly what you mean!

Cindy said...

You are not alone. I feel exactly the same way! Great post!

evrfwd said...

oxox, you deserve a mommi award i think! your focus is true blue and it shows with sammi being the wonderful little gurl she is.

Chaos Diaries said...

Right there with you. I think maybe for me it's because Mason's Down syndrome isn't something that is top-of-mind at this stage in his life. Most of the time, he's just this very active, very funny little guy who just happens to enjoy messing up my house faster than I can mitigate the damage. The times that I actually think about the fact that he has Down syndrome are kinda few and far between at this stage of the game.

Of course, now that we're approaching potty training, I may redact my previous statement...

RobMonroe said...

Unfortunately I think you will have plenty of opportunity in Sammis's long life to stand up for her - don't worry about the timing of all that is going on right now. You are the best advocate for your daughter because you put her BEFORE the conferences and seminars. Don't push for everything now - even though it's hard.