It was Addie’s FIRST Christmas! I was beyond over-joyed in the days ahead. My heart, still heavy from Sandy Hook, was looking forward to seeing the joy and excitement in my baby girl’s eyes.
We went and saw La Salette in Attleboro, MA… which we did last year, too! And we took the train to my hometown in Pennsylvania. We are planning on heading to the light show at Wanamakers in Philadelaphia before we head back, and we went to lots of parties. We went to Church, where Addie loved the lights, music, singing along and everyone loved her, too! We did so much, I could think of no better way to share than a video!
It was a beautiful holiday! I wish everyone peace and beauty in this upcoming year, as well as one full of new lessons and experiences… which brings me to my final teaching point of the year.
As some people saw on my Facebook Page, I went to go to the store on December 20 and a woman was looking at Addie and smiling on the way in. She stopped me and told me how sweet and cute Addie is, and asked her age. When I said 8 months, she crinkled her nose and said “she’s so tiny.” I smiled, as I’m getting used to this, and the comment doesn’t really leave me feeling any which way about it, but when she pulled her leg out by her foot and said “REALLY tiny!”, I used the moment to educate. This woman was well dressed, early 30’s, with her young daughter, so I wanted to take a chance. I smiled and said, “she is! Addie is a little person. She was born with a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia.”
The woman looked excited, glanced down at her daughter and said, “Emma, she’s like one of Santa’s elves.”
My eyes shot open as wide as dinner plates, I turned, put Addie in the car, took a deep breath and a sip of water to compose myself, and drove away.
I wish I’d had a card on me. I wish I had said, “not like an elf. Elves are mythical beings.” Does this little girl really think LP are Santa’s helpers?
Later in the day I had an argument with someone who thought it was OK to call her friend the m-word because she was just a short AH person and it didn’t offend her. She thought it shouldn’t offend me because she was calling a (in her words) “normal” person that, and not someone with a “genetic problem”.
Wow… so, clearly, this was not my day.
I simply responded that my daughter is normal. She is just small, and it is due to a genetic mutation. Her friend that is simply short, because we as humans come in all shapes and sizes, wouldn’t get offended. This young woman didn’t seem to get it, but I was trying to educate people that day.
And so, I will continue to try. I will spread the message about many words still widely used. Including the m-word. Please, think about the LP community; just because your words don’t mean to offend, doesn’t mean they don’t.
I wish all of you the happiest of New Years. One where we are all equally loved, appreciated and respected for our differences.