I chose to make it personal. About my kid, about Babe. because it very much is personal. It is about you hurting my kid and my family when you say it.
I decided to take my words and punch with them. I threatened.
Why did I choose that approach?
While I was driving yesterday a radio commercial came on, part of a campaign targeting drunk driving. The message was that it is more expensive to drive drunk if you get caught than if you just take a taxi. This approach does not and never has appealed to me. I'm the person who talks back to the radio and says "Forget about money, what if you kill someone by accident, what if you hurt someone? Ever think about that?" or something like that, usually probably peppered with some 'fuck' and 'fucking' in there too. Because that is the approach that appeals to me. Not just the swearing though, the caring about others and about not hurting people.
I'm not overly shaken by the thought of a huge fine. It's only money.
I'm not overly shaken by the thought that I will get hurt myself if it's the direct consequence of my own bad choice. I'm an adult, I make my own choices, I live (or not) with the consequences. I usually instinctively try to stay alive and thus don't normally even contemplate driving drunk.
I am, however, very shaken by the thought of hurting someone who I don't know, whose only mistake is not taking into account that a complete stranger can't be bothered to think things through and put themselves in other people's shoes and consider how their bad choice could affect an innocent bystander.
This is not the first time I've heard the financial loss approach to drunk driving so there must an audience out there for it. I get it. It must hit home with some people. Good for them for not driving drunk, even if they're not worried about killing their neighbor, but having to work overtime because of a monstrous fine. Whatever works.
Whatever works? Really?
This has made me think of this whole blogging thing I'm doing here, and the way that I'm doing it. About writing about Down syndrome as a point of advocating for people with Down syndrome, or with other intellectual or developmental disabilities. Blogging to make a point instead of processing something, or recording something, or even rejoicing in something. I have moved on from awareness. Awareness is no longer doing it for me, or for Babe.
We need more. We need it all.
I don't just blog for awareness, I blog for complete acceptance and for real, meaningful inclusion of people with Down syndrome in our society. I blog to level the playing field. I blog about Down syndrome to change perceptions, to find others who think alike so that together we can be stronger, to make the world better for Babe and for everyone with Down syndrome. I take my kid to the park so that she can enjoy the fun that is gazillion screaming toddlers and I blog about Down syndrome so that she can be in an inclusive setting in a classroom once she goes to school and not be marginalized as 'too different from the rest of us'.
I don't want to journal and I don't want to show you what our life is really like. I want to change you for the better or if you've already arrived I want to be your friend.
I want a life for my kid that is in no way made harder by false impressions of Down syndrome and people with Down syndrome.
This is where I'm at, and where I fit in. In a revolution.
I want you to love like I love. Just love.