Seeing the Ignorance First Hand

FullSizeRenderI had a conversation this past weekend that I can’t stop thinking about. It just keeps coming back. Not negatively. Not positively. Just more thought provoking I guess.

It opened my eyes to the ignorance out there.

I don’t share Cooper’s autism with most people. You would never meet a new person and immediately say…I have two kids…one is deaf. Or one is blind. Or whatever. I get to be choosy about who I share my Cooper story with. And I use it wisely.

Maybe that’s weird. I’m not embarrassed. It’s just too much to share when you first meet somebody. I have two amazingly awesome sons…that run my show. That’s enough.

So I met a lady when I was out this weekend. We share a mutual friend.  This mutual friend has three kids. The first two are autistic and the third is typical.

This mutual friend is the most inspiring autism mom I have met thus far. Hell with just autism…she’s an inspiring human in general. She is optimistic. She is smart and happy and exhausted and inspirational. And most of all she is at peace with her kids diagnosis. I want to be her. When I asked her once how she found peace with autism she very quickly said….’Lots of time. And a whole lotta Jesus.’ I sorta loved that answer. It was so honest.

I haven’t found peace yet.

Anyhow, I asked this women what she knew about our mutual friend. I was fishing to see what she would say.

Her response:

‘I know she has two messed up kids. Autism I think. She and her husband obviously can’t take a hint that they shouldn’t have kids. The gene pool is not on their side.’

I was shocked. I just stood there with my mouth open.

Who says that? It’s not like these kids have terminal illnesses. It’s not like they shouldn’t be here. It’s not like they were a mistake. It’s not like she complains. They are her children.

Do people think that about me?

Should I have never had Sawyer out of fear of having another autistic child?

I have two kids. And thankfully my second, Sawyer, is NT. I’ll be honest. He was not planned. I was in no way ready for another baby. Cooper’s real challenges started to surface at 1 year. I found out I was pregnant with Sawyer when Cooper was 16 months old.

I cried. Like ugly cried. For days.

I spent every day of my pregnancy worrying. I knew something was off with Cooper but I didn’t know what. And the fear of having another child with needs kept me up at night. I am sure a lot of people think its the therapies and schedules and managing the insurance that is hard. Or that he doesn’t talk. Nope. It’s the worry. It’s 100% the unknown future. That’s the hard part.

And the broken heart that special needs moms carry around.

Thankfully, Sawyer is typical in every single way. I knew the second he was born that he was going to be very different from Cooper. He was my easy baby. My sleeper. My good eater. My happy baby.

He was the baby I didn’t get the first time. I get to enjoy every single moment and milestone. And every glorious word that comes out of his mouth.

But I wouldn’t trade Cooper. And I most certainly don’t regret him. And I would have him again and again. I would never change my mind.

So I guess the gene pool isn’t on my side either.

I could have put this chick in her place. I could have really laid into her. I chose not to. Cooper is mine. And he’s perfect. And she doesn’t need to know about it. Or my choices.

But it sure as hell got me thinking. Is it okay to say something ignorant and be a douche canoe just because you don’t understand?

Nope. It’s not okay. Remember that.

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18 thoughts on “Seeing the Ignorance First Hand

  1. idiots. I have 2 kids with SN, and I don’t think I did anything wrong, nor did they. I still want a 3rd, gene pool or not. Ppl are just not in tune with all our kids bring us, the world, and will do.

  2. As a disabled woman with a genetic disease, the entire world told me to abort my unplanned pregnancy. Turns out my kid didn’t get my genetic disease (though he could develop it at any time)…he got autism instead. I think it is a very common belief that any family with an “anomaly” shouldn’t “breed.”

    I have a lot of very mixed up and complicated feelings about this issue. Being disabled and having an autistic kid has killed me in ways I didn’t know I could die…the effort of raising him is almost completely unmanageable for me. Yet this does not take away from the fact that my son is a unique and precious human whom I dearly love. Was he (and I, for that matter) a “mistake?” Some will frame it that way, and sometimes I might even feel that way myself. Mostly I enjoy what I can and just try to survive the rest.

    As for what others think? Fuck ’em. They have no idea what this side of life looks like, and any judgement they throw our way is meaningless.

  3. I have two little boys with special needs and I guess if I were to listen to her, our gene pool is not our side either! Such a terrible thing to say about a person she calls her friend. In addition to referring to the kids as being “messed up”. If anyone is messed up is her and I hope to God she doesn’t have children because we sure as heck don’t need her passing on her discriminating gene to her own children!

  4. I…I…I…can’t believe one mother would say that about another woman and her children. Heaven help us.
    Side note, I know Ger Renton through blogging and I got really excited to see her quote here. She is amazing, as are you. And both of your boys!

  5. What a great “friend” to your mutual friend. Ugh no words for that type of ignorance. On another note I just wanted to tell you I agree with you completely. I haven’t found peace yet either, but I wouldn’t trade my son for the world.

  6. Well her gene pool obviously consists of the asshole gene. Hopefully she doesn’t have any more kids because we really don’t need any more asshole like her. Hehehe

  7. A relative (that shall remain nameless) once said to me after seeing a cousin of mine kids “both their kids have something wrong with them they are messed up. Maybe that’s where your daughter gets it from…god forbid it was to come from “her side of the family” It makes me sick how people are. It really hurts and I understand.. sending love and hugs to you.

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