Spread The Word To End The Word 2018

Today is the annual Spread The Word To End The Word Campaign day, and I am all about encouraging people to take the pledge. The campaign asks people to remove the r-word from their everyday vocabulary and encourages those who take the pledge to help spread the word of their mission with others. Image result for spread the word to end the word 2018We live in a society where having an opinion is often an automatic right to discount the opinions and feelings of others and, essentially, where compassion is lost in a cloud of arrogance.  Let this not be a lecture.  Let this be a simple message.

These days people are often accused of being over sensitive. Words and phrases are sometimes used without consideration of how those words may affect those around them. After all, isn’t it much easier to just accuse someone of being over sensitive than it is to acknowledge that we may have been responsible for offending someone else in the first place? Sure.

There are a number of ways these scenarios play out when someone uses words like retarded. Some people just let it go; wishing they had the perfect way to respond to someone or wishing they were brave enough to speak up…(typically me). Others confront the situation head-on and let someone know that their words hurt and that they did not like it. Either way, it stings.

When confronted, the response from people who use the r-word varies which can further complicate the situation. They are those who unintentionally used it and would feel terrible knowing it offended someone. Those who insist they didn’t mean like so and so. Those who hear what you have to say, but suspect you’re just being dramatic. And those who refuse to let their free speech rights be taken away by a bunch of whiners. *Sigh*

If choosing another word is so simple, why do we have a campaign each year asking people to simply do so? This brings out the real question…why should people choose another word?

Sometimes we need a reminder to be considerate, courteous, compassionate and polite. It literally costs nothing to be kind. The world could use a lot more of that right now. Small changes like removing the r-word from our vocabulary helps create an inclusionary and accepting attitude of all individuals and it helps support the notion that everyone deserves respect.

Words like retard or retarded might not mean anything to some people, but to many others–like me–they do. I promise I am not stripping anyone of their first amendment rights. I am challenging people to be better for others and for themselves and asking people to choose words that don’t place limits on those with intellectual disabilities or medical needs in an attempt to describe something totally unrelated.

I am not over sensitive. I am just a mom of pretty awesome kid with Down syndrome hoping for a shred of decency and Respect from those I share the world with.

If it really is just a word, then please consider a different one…a better one.

Take the pledge. Sign it. Share it. Remember it.

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This post is comprised of excerpts from past Spread The Word To End The Word posts here on Dear Tessa. 

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Surprise!

My last post was exactly four months ago; making this my longest gap between posts to date. Not exactly the writing goal I had set out for this year. Like always, life happens. I will get you up to speed sometime, just probably not entirely today.

How is Tessa doing? She is actually doing really great. First grade has been fantastic so far. Her health is good and she is becoming a remarkable young lady. This is the first time–in probably her entire life–that things have been relatively calm and consistently normal. She still sees quite a few specialists and has already slightly ventured right into sick season, but this routine change of pace has been quite nice.

The rest of our family is doing well also. Outside of being extremely busy with work and things for the kids, we are preparing for the holidays; knowing they will be here and gone before we know it.

We have spent the better part of the last sixteen months settling into our new place. While this property is unbelievably gorgeous, it does require plenty our time, focus and energy. All of which is well worth the joy of residing here and enriching our children with the unique experiences that country living has to offer.

The more we settled in, the quicker I realized that the goals for our family were beginning to shift. For four years my husband and I had contrasting ideas about what our future might look like. I always joked that we were on a different page…in different books…in different libraries. Our dreams were certainly different. They always had been.

It wasn’t until moving here, that we began to see things together. We envisioned a future with similar hopes. We set goals together and began to find balance that would satisfy us both. Not without conflict or sacrifice because…well…marriage; but there was something about this agrestic lifestyle that opened our eyes and hearts to the possibility of something more.

I sold nearly every last baby related item we owned a few years ago at a garage sale at our old house. I had finally began to accept that we would likely not welcome another baby into our lives. It was a decision that troubled me for a long time, but we had made the decision that our family was complete. There were three things I hung onto, you know, just because. Like the pack ‘n play for nieces and nephews if they would have a sleepover. The solid white bassinet for nostalgic purposes. And apparently a hand-me-down crib that neither my husband nor I remember keeping that definitely made the move.

In early fall, the conversation came up again. The “what do you think about a baby” conversation. It was a topic that had been thrown around numerous times over the last several years and by that point I had grown sort of numb to it. There was a reason this continued to come up, but we were both either too scared or too proud to admit it.

I don’t know. What do you think?” 

We thought of a thousand reasons to not do this again…

But none of them seemed good enough to rule it out.

Photo credit: Little Britches Photography

Photo credit: Little Britches Photography

There was never going to be a perfect time to have a baby. We knew we wouldn’t regret having another baby, but we knew there was a chance we may regret our decision to not.

We are thrilled to share our news! The girls are extremely excited to be big sisters, and we cannot wait for our family to expand in early July. I am almost out of my first trimester and, outside of wanting to eat every carb or meat in sight, I am feeling well overall. We had our first OB appointment and baby seems to be doing great.

Side note. Last weekend, while feeling especially exhausted, I decided to sit in my chair and scroll through Facebook. “Why not take this quiz that will predict how my year will end,” I thought to myself as I saw the results of one of my friends. PREGNANT. That was my ironic result. While I thought it was hilarious and strange, I quickly closed out of it and got back to being lazy–totally unaware that the quiz either shared automatically to my page or I somehow did it without realizing it. Fast forward thirty minutes and my phone is dinging with notifications for my post. Post? What post? Crap. By then, there was no deleting it. I just let people stew on whether or not the result was accurate. That is the last friggin’ Facebook quiz I’ll ever take. Except probably not.

Stay tuned peeps. ❤