A perspective on the world of disability from a mother and an educator. Follow my blog!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

My small world

There are plenty of times that you are reminded of how small the world is. I've been lucky enough to encounter a few of these of late thanks to embarking on further study.

The first was when I posted a few questions to a forum and received amazing help from a random stranger in the shape of detailed explanations. I was beyond grateful that I was able to find someone willing to explain what I was struggling to understand. I was over the moon to then find out that this person who was a random stranger to me,  living in a different town even, was in fact a friend of one of my closest friends. What a small world we live in!

The most recent reminded of how small my world is came this morning, again through my study. Writing a research proposal is tricky at the best of times, and even though I know exactly what I want to research, the nitty gritty of research design is something new to me. Thankfully I've found a PhD buddy who is traveling the same enrollment path as I am.

We were talking this morning about our projects and where we want to go when we have finished. We talking about using our new found qualifications to travel the world and I had to inform him of a rather unpleasant barrier that keeps my world small.

In order to travel anywhere internationally we would need to, and want to, take our children. In applying for work, study or even residency visas, we will undoubtedly face barriers because of Imogen's Down syndrome and Graves disease. Geographically, my world is likely to be very small. I know my own government has a rather disgusting attitude towards skilled professionals who have children with a diagnosis or disability. I've seen it happen

over again.

I have know this barrier existed for a long time. What surprised me this morning was that my PhD buddy didn't know about it. The world I experience and live in seemed very small all of a sudden. Do I just know about these things because I'm attuned to the world of disability? Is it because this is the bandwagon that I've jumped on and my friends all have their own? I have friends who are passionate about cancer, others childhood diabetes.  I would like to think that I'm aware of their contexts, but maybe I'm just as ignorant about theirs as they are about mine.

Maybe we need to talk about how small our worlds are to make them bigger.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Mother's Day 2015

A year ago I was on an absolute high after getting to meet a childhood hero of mine. I have spent the last year thinking there was no way that any future Mothers Day would ever compare. This week I have been reminded that things always get better.

For a while now I've been trying to catch up with Imogen's teacher to get an insight into what is happening in the classroom. With both of us having ridiculously busy schedules we've only managed to squeeze in a few conversations in the playground after school. They've been succinct, but profound.

What it boils down to is expectations.The other children in Imogen's class have known her since before they all started school together. I guess that is another joy of living in a small town. They have only ever known her as Imogen. Imogen's class mates have spent the past 5 years growing up with her, knowing her. They know what to expect from her without placing expectations on her.

Letting go of those expectations is truly liberating and I recommend you try it. It isn't lowering your expectations, it's just embracing the freedom to find joy in all the achievements that are made, all the milestones reached. It is a way to hold back the grief felt when expectations are not realised. Imogen's classmates do it naturally, why do we as adults find it so hard?

The last 12 months have been filled with more blessings than the previous 12 and we didn't think that was possible. Aside from Imogen growing and maturing into an amazing young lady who reads competently and chooses to improve her maths in her spare time, we have seen out other two girls blossom beyond belief. Our house is almost unrecognisable with the improvements of the last 12 months and my Bear and I are indulging in serious nerd talk when we study buddy at night.

So while this Mothers Day wasn't as unique as last year, starting the day with breakfast in bed, pottering around in my garden, taking the kids to the river, indulging in the prerequisite hot bath with a book was more than enough to remind me that when you hold no expectations, immense delight can be found in what is right before you.