After some thought-provoking responses, I'm putting my money where my mouth is.
Back in March, I shared my complex and somewhat inexplicable reaction to the book Handle With Care, by Jodi Picoult. The post, “Special-Needs Novel Hits Close to Home” garnered some pretty intense reactions.
I intended for the focus of that post to be how, as the mother of a child with special needs, the book made me think--how it brought up so many unanswerable questions. And, how deeply it made me feel--how reading it elicited feelings I didn’t understand. The post was not meant to be about abortion, but it was the description of my reaction to protestors outside Planned Parenthood that caught readers’ attention.
I’m not sorry that I wrote this very personal post. I do, however, regret that some readers felt unsupported. Moms of kids with ADHD and other special needs turned to my blog for support and encouragement, and found, instead, what felt like the opposite. For that, I apologize. If this blog doesn’t offer a sense of community, if it doesn’t support and encourage parents, then why should I write it? More to the point, why would anyone read it?
Words are powerful, but actions are more so. I’ve apologized. Now, to quote myself, I’m going to "put my money where my mouth is." By the way, I didn’t mean "money" literally. I meant--how does that saying go?--if you talk the talk, you’d better walk the walk. So, I’m gonna walk. Yes, this time I mean that literally.
As I read Handle with Care, this was that face that I pictured. You see, I know of a child with Ostenogensis Imperfecta, or OI, the bone disease that was the basis of Picoult’s plot. This is Amyra.
She and her mom and big sister were regular customers when I worked on the Ames Public Library’s Bookmobile. Amyra goes to Natalie’s elementary school. For a time they attended the same daycare. Amyra’s mom, Latifah, is organizing “Amyra’s Walk-n-Roll for Better Bones” a fundraising event for the OI Foundation. Yes, I’ll make a small donation--I’ll put my money where my mouth is. But, more importantly, I’ll be there in a show of support to Latifah. I’ll be there to represent how moms of kids with special needs need to stick together. Please, please, PLEASE join me. I invite Ames-area parents to join my team. I beg every other reader to make a pledge--even a tiny one, and designate it as a tribute to moms of kids with special needs.
Whip out that plastic, parents! Here’s the link to my team page. Even $5 will send a message! And the message is this: All moms need to stick together, but moms of kids with special needs need each other especially. I’m sure no one will argue with that.