Food for Thought
Food for Thought – July 13, 2015
Now, I’m all for disability pride. I like to think of myself as a bit of an advocate, not just for my son but for the rights of people with disabilities in general. I want to end the stigma. I want to change the conversation. I want to bridge the gap between them and us.
But also, I want a mother flipping cocktail.
When people see the wheelchair, they automatically assume some sort of cognitive delay or impairment. It’s important to note that some wheelchair users do have mental disabilities, and that doesn’t make them any less deserving of love or respect.
At the library, Fiona shouts because she wants something I haven’t given her, and when I give it to her—a marker—she needs my help to get the cap off, so she shouts some more, and once I get the cap off, she holds it a second and then drops it on the carpet and cries out, pointing at another marker she wants, and I scramble to get the dropped marker before it stains the carpet while also making sure she doesn’t fall off the chair she’s sitting on. I’m also simultaneously checking that her sister is okay and trying to hold a conversation with another mother. Add the talker to her mix, as I consider how I might model what Fiona could say in moments like these, and nothing about my mothering looks pretty. My hands are too full. I’m too frazzled and haggard and sweaty. If ever I wanted to perform, to play the good and successful Mom, I can’t. Forget the Mommy Wars; I don’t even have the energy to show up for my uniform.