Today started just like any other day. The dawn rushed in like I owed it money. Or much more than that, an extra hour of sleep. There would be none of that, though. I hit the snooze for a coveted five more minutes, but there would be none of that either. Little People were already at the bedside pulling my hand.
Hurry to get her dressed. Hurry to get her fed. Hurry to get her to that effin’ bus stop. Hurry to get started listening to other mom’s problems.
Hurry and do what happens every day. And what happens the day after that. And the day after that.
I’m in a melancholy type of mood. It’s too hot to recognize that fall is here and too rainy to realize the rainy season is over. The ground is wet and my garden is soaked. Not much has grown this year and my anticipation for a bumper crop is all but bumped out of mind.
I know exactly what the problem is. It’s the same thing every year. It’s October.
I know that October comes every year. Right after September. Right before November. It’s number ten of twelve and marks a month of awareness posts and pink stuff and pumpkin spiced everything.
I’m not ready. And I don’t like pumpkin. I’m a sweet potato kinda girl.
October is a bittersweet month. October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. October is Disability Awareness Month. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October is thirty-one days of reminders of every major disruptor in my life.
You can’t stop October. It’s bound to show up. No matter how I try to skirt around the days which bring September to an end inevitably they will lead to another -ber month. And another -ber month. And another -ber month. The -bers keep marching on.
I’m not ready. Can we skip to maybe… January?
My Grand was diagnosed at 80 with breast cancer. It’s her month. Ten years ago my DD (dear daughter) was born with Down syndrome. It’s her month, too. Her diagnosis is an ever present reminder of October’s stern inevitability. It is also a reminder that becoming an advocate was the change that ushered our family’s revival. It’s a rebirth of a resilience tucked neatly away under layers of unneeded boldness and unheeded advocacy.
It’s my month, too. Reluctant advocate. Super-charged momschooler. Speaker. Teacher. Sweet potato type of girl. DD’s mom.
Advocacy doesn’t take on a form that can be easily recognized by its sameness. It varies in size and color. It changes in shape and consistency. It can shout from the highest decibel and with the softest whisper. It can channel rage. It can insight fury. It can charge with an army. It can resound as a brigade of one. It bends and twists and turns and shifts and reveals all those qualities of character its source belies.
Advocacy starts with you.
Advocacy starts with you.Tweet
It begins as a thought. It turns into action. It becomes a part of who you are and what you do. It embraces all the passion for the cause and makes it believable, It gives a voice to the unspoken and brings light to the hidden. It breathes life to those situations which were first deemed insurmountable.
Advocacy changes you.
Change is inevitable. How we manage the differences is the catalyst which drives our personal realities. Becoming a parent changed my life. Becoming a special needs parent changed my perspective on life. Nothing is the same. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Change is inevitable. How we manage the differences is the catalyst which drives our personal realities.Tweet
The rain slowed just enough to realize there were clouds in the sky. I almost saw a sliver of sun peeking through the grey streaks. These are the days that compete with my still thoughts. It’s easy to overthink when you have reminders on every turn. I didn’t write a single thing last year during this time. I couldn’t bring the words to life. Perhaps the melancholy was too great. Perhaps I missed the perspective that was once so blissful and blindly optimistic. Perhaps I reflected too much on the difficulties that still surrounded our daily lives. ‘Methinks thou doth protest too much…’ I tell myself as I reflect on the journey we have undertaken. The good far outweighs all the times that left my heart threadbare.
It’s still October. I’m still an advocate. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.