Friday, July 22, 2011

Just Something Em Made Me Think About

I think I'm about to write about something I've never written about before. In the two and a half years I've been in blog land I don't think I've ever written a word on the WORD. The "R" word that is. I guess every one else has always done such a great job, I didn't feel I could add anything that hasn't already been said. 

But the other day while sitting in traffic, something hit me. Something that made me think about the "word" somehow in a positive way for a change. NO, I'm not going to say the word is okay to use , I'm not !Ignorance and hatred have turned this word into something used to inflict pain and humiliation, not only on our children with Down syndrome, but on any human being thought to be less than what society perceives to be perfect or acceptable. An insulting and debilitating weapon used by cowards. It's a dead word, it has no place in society. Ignorance has shaped it into something unforgiving and it will never be taken as anything but insulting.

But here is the definition: To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede. v.used  intr. To be delayed. 

No matter how you read it, it simply means to slow something down. 
Then I started to think of Miss Em, and her delays. And then I started to think of her "gift" of being able to slow things down. And I kind of put the delays and the gifts together. And when I did that there were just the gifts left.

Miss Emilia Faith came into our lives and showed us all how to slow down, how to "proceed slowly" and enjoy all things!!

In a world that needs everything yesterday, Emilia is a breath of fresh air.  An oasis, for us to come to to Slow down.

In the mist of the hustle and bustle people call life, in the do or die  race to the top for "perfection",in the dizzying madness of trying to be the best, the fastest , the smartest, the richest, the most powerful we have Emilia Faith, who in her sweet and loving and innocent way, causes us to move or proceed slowly;  be delayed. 

If life is a blizzard , then Em is a flurry.
If the wind is whipping at your back, turn your face to her, because she is a gentle breeze.
If you are being overtaken by the waves, take her hand, she is a shallow and cool oasis.
If you are sprinting through life, walk along side Em, she will even your paces and help you to catch your breath.
If you are racing through life with blinders on, take them off and Em will show you the scenic route. Yes , it will take you longer to get there. Yes you will be slowed down and delayed. You will have to proceed slowly. 

But your life will have new meaning, your heart will have more compassion, your eyes will be opened,  because in slowing down and proceeding slowly, we see it all. We don't miss the magic. 

To  a world that says faster is better, stronger is better, lead follow or get out of the way. To you I say, Slow down, Proceed slowly, welcome delays and  open your eyes before it's too late.


Chris said...

Stephanie--maybe this post needed 2 1/2 years to be written. There is an adjustment period at the beginning. It is often best to slow down gradually, rather than to just stop short. I think that for many, when we find out our child as Ds, it can be a lot like stopping short. You envision this life with your child and when you suddenly find out that you need to slow down, you lunge forward (sometimes in fear of the consequences), and then are pulled back. This is a beautiful post, and if I can manage to slow down today, I am going to take time to repost on my blog (not that anyone reads it anymore because I haven't been writing.) Keep enjoying the gift that is Em.

Lacey said...

I agree! I love how although time flies sometimes, Jax and Arina both teach me to slow down and enjoy life a bit. Something I'm glad to do!

Rochelle said...

Beautiful! However with toddlers I don't think we are slowing down much LOL! ♥

rjenks said...

A lady that we talked to at our church has a beautiful 25 year old daughter who has down syndrome. Her daughter is a joy, full of life, and the pride and joy of her mother. When we knew we wanted to adopt the mom talked about the word retarded. She said that she raised her daughter to not be offended by the word. She explained to her daughter that she IS slower, so she is retarded. She explained that it is not a bad word, it is a statement of fact. Just as some people are white and some people are black. She explained that people are getting too politically correct and use pretty words to make something sound better. She explained that she is a gift from God and God does not make mistakes. She explained that being retarded does not mean she is worth less, it means she is just slower. She explained that as her daughter was growing up she would often tell her, when her daughter would want to give up, that she expected her to do everything her brothers did since she was just as able, that it might take her a bit longer but she was just as able. When she was a teen, if people called her retarded, she would just smile at them and say, yes I am. Just as if someone had said, your hair is brown. She was taught early not to be offended by the word, so she never was. Today her daughter is dating a young man with down syndrome and they hope to be married soon. Her daughter is a ray of sunshine and you would never know she had down syndrome at all unless she turned around and you could see her face. She works with children at a childcare center and helps out at our church. I am not saying that to go around calling everyone with a learning disability retarded, I am just saying what one mother did to make sure that if someone did call her daughter that, her daughter would not take it as an insult. People all over the world who want to hurt people will always find something mean to say. If we use new terms, then those terms will be insults in years to come. We can not stop others from insulting people, but we can prepare our kids to not be insulted. If someone came up to me and said... you're too short, you're a shrimp, you wear glasses! I would look at them and say, yep. And smile back. When I was a little girl, I wore glasses too. When kids would tease me and call me four eyes, I would say, yep, four eyes are better than two. It would totally disfuse the situation. They would be confused. They set out to upset me, when I did not become upset, they could not figure out what to do. Again, I am not saying that this is what everyone should do, or even anyone should do. I am just saying it is what one mother at our church did that ended up working for her daughter.

The VW's said...

Love this!!! We should all be reminded to slow down every once in awhile, and our special little ones definitely remind us to do just this!

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

great way to look at this...and awesome connection...I love that our life has slowed down to enjoy it...and I do not seem to miss much anymore...and that is the way I like it...great post and thoughtfulness! smiles

Jenn said...

Beautiful post Stephanie. Thank you for the reminder to slow down :) We miss some of the biggest blessings when we are living like speed racer.

Jeana said...

I really love this post, thank you so much for taking time to write this up and share it with us all. We feel the same way about our little miss, she makes us enjoy the little things in life and celebrate the things that often get forgotten and taken for granted. She has taught me what life is all about, and it is truly amazing.