Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"Do you know who the president is?"

This was the question I asked my son this morning as we waited on the bus. The first thing he did was repeat the word president. I asked again, "Who?" He does pretty good with the "wh" questions most of the time so I knew I had a fair shot of him answering appropriately.

He stared at me intently and I could see the work going into him forming his answer. Then his reply came, "George Washington".

Fair enough buddy, fair enough.

Baby Cooper

I know there are a lot of people who are sad, upset and worried today. Many of us are in fact still attempting to wrap our heads around the fact that Donald Trump, is the President of the United States of America.

I live in a small little bubble of a life. I can tell you this, it's a bubble the doesn't like change. We thrive on routine and sameness. It's comforting, it's security. We expend a great deal of energy ensuring things follow routine and stay the same.

That is simply not always possible.

What I can share with you today is something that it has taken me years to embrace.

Change is good.

However, much like doing the right thing, it is rarely easy.

Some of my son's greatest periods of progress, some of his most incredible periods of growth have accompanied his biggest disruptions in routine, and his most life changing moments.

I also have to tell you this, most of these changes we fought with everything we had to prevent.

People struggle with change, even under the best of circumstances, even when we ask for it.

I am a mother of a son with a severe disability, I am also the mother of four daughters.  I took my vote in this election very seriously, it is their future and it is important.

I voted for Trump.

I don't have to justify my choice to anyone, but I know many will wonder how a parent of a child with a disability could possibly vote for a man who made fun of someone with a disability...

So I want to tell you this...Donald Trump was not the first and he will not be the last. I see it and hear it every day, and it is everywhere. The lack of respect and disregard for the feelings and value of those with disabilities is rampant and woven into our very existence. It will take an intense and concerted effort to shift the views of so many.

You find the words and the gestures in every venue, from our schools, to our televisions, they are in our churches and our homes. We teach our children consciously and subconsciously that it is ok to dismiss the life that is different, that is disabled, that is less than perfect.

We have created this environment.

Over and over again we prove this disregard, literally thousands of times a day, when we choose to end the life of a baby because they are not what we wanted. I know it is a hard choice, and I know it is complicated, and represents great change...but it is life.

Many will argue that some are pro birth as opposed to being truly prolife because they don't see enough evidence to convince them that everyone who speaks out against abortion is doing enough to speak out and make a difference at every level of life.

We are many members of one body, each tasked, called and gifted with unique abilities and purposes. Speaking out for one level doesn't mean you don't care about all, it just means this is where your spot is and you trust there are others who will step in to their place and speak and move. We can't do this alone.  Our children, as unique as they may be were also created to be part of a bigger picture and purpose.

The have real value, they are important.

Will Donald Trump change his ways, will he stop making fun of people and saying mean things? Will he follow through with his promise of being a prolife president?

I don't know.

I pray he will.

I believe that to truly see change in the way our children are viewed and treated in the world we find ourselves, we have to stand up and speak up. Not with a "well they are here so you have to be nice and take care of them attitude" but with a voice that is loud and clear, one that says...

"From their very creation, from the moment they were conceived they have value, they have a purpose, they are important."

We can not successfully advocate for their rights and respect when we do not value and respect every single moment of their existence.

Hillary Clinton has stepped further and further away from this view, and I think we have seen Trump move closer toward this view.

I could never bring myself to vote for a woman who does not hold a view of life that respects the existence of my son.

I pray we find the common ground, in love and respect for the future of our children, and work together to truly change how they are viewed.

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