Stop Trying To Be Normal – Things My Daughters Teach Me

This is a bit of a follow up on yesterday’s rant with another classic IDS quote. I will however, do him the service of keeping his quote in context:

“I think the figure is now over 220,000, which I believe is the highest figure since records began, in proportionate terms, but the most important point is that we are looking to get that up to the level of normal, non-disabled people who are back in work. Those with disabilities have every right and every reason to expect exactly the same support into work that everybody else gets,”

So I’m not normal. What’s new?
I’ve been struggling with using the D word for a while and have been using my blog to test the water by dropping it into conversation here before I use it with the general populous.

But two conversations with and about my daughters have hit it home this week and left me wondering why I was so uptight about it.

TinyPants, who is now 9 and speaks her brilliant little mind as if she were running the country mentioned offhand to me that she’d “been talking about your disability at school to my teachers. They didn’t know you were disabled.”.
I tried fluffing it out saying well yes, Mummy is in pain and I do use the wheelchair, and sticks, and….

Then she looked me square in the face and said “You are disabled. Your body doesn’t work. You are my mum and you’re disabled. It’s a fact. Just like Best friend is my best fried and she’s Brazilian. What’s the problem with saying it?”

Um, nothing you blindingly insightful child. Bloody hell, never change.

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Cue cute picture of TinyPants with mega milkshake testing said best friend

Then we had parents evening for Beanpole. We had the usual are you aware that your nearly 11 year old is tackling GCSE papers? conversation. Yes, she’s also totally unaware of how clever she’s become  (This is a good thing) so she’s also working her socks off. Clever teacher. But the thing that struck me, and made me terribly proud of her was the gushing from her teacher of how great it is that she refuses to change to impress people. She sticks to her slightly oddball guns and does what she feels is right and makes her happy. Who cares if she loves dinosaurs and has read every book in the library, she is & looks how she wants to (within set parental limits), and figuratively sticks two fingers up to the crowd. Because of she literally did it, she’d be grounded forever.

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Less cute, more emo - only my oreo milkshake understands me.

So neither of my kids see the point in normality, nor do they see disability as not normal.

We are who we are. And I’m very proud of them for being better than me.

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4 thoughts on “Stop Trying To Be Normal – Things My Daughters Teach Me

  1. They would only be that amazing as they had an amazing role model. They aren’t better than you they are the best part of you. Children are more accepting of themselves and others, somewhere in growing up we forget this.

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  2. Normal is lame. You are more insightful and resilient because you are disabled, it has some value, if you can see past the problems. You’ll always have pain and fatigue, and that’ll always be shit. But the stuff that you have to deal with from society on top of that is stuff you can challenge. There’s many of us wonderfully abnormal people out there, and society should recognise that and change to be more accommodating to everyone. If you’re confident about the value of being different and the need for society to change, it’ll make it easier to accept sometimes it must change around you, not vice versa. Not all the effort in this process should have to come from you.

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