Its DWARFISM AWARENESS month in the USA…. unfortunately South Africa does not acknowledge this as yet but that does not stop us from joining in as we did in the past.
My Facebook newsfeeds have been abuzz with all the educational updates which is great to see.I was thinking about what I could share to celebrate this month and after much thinking I decided to share a recent mother daughter chat I had with Leah, a few weeks ago someone had poked fun of her size at school and she was feeling hurt as a mother all i wanted to do was hunt down the other kid and give her a harsh reprimand but we have to remember that we are our children’s greatest teachers .
So in the spirit of Dwarfism Awareness Month I dedicated this post to my Daughter Leah..
My darling Leah .You have the power to create what you want, it’s inside of you and is more powerful that you can imagine. Sometimes we give so much power to words that’s we become consumed with bitterness this is when you lose sight of who you really are. Yes you are going to have good days and you will have bad days fact is we all have those days but I’m here for you if you need me. No one has the right to make you feel bad. If someone says something offensive YOU have the choice as to how you respond to it, just remember this only YOU can give it the power to upset you. So next time someone insults you don’t give it any power…. give it back to them try not to react, instead breath deep and give yourself time to respond in a way you would be proud of. Sometimes in anger we say things we regret but a calm response will definitely make people think twice about their ignorant jokes and insults.. believe me even if you think your response has not made an impact I’m telling you it has, that person will never forget. The only person in charge of your emotions and thoughts is YOU, and you are more beautiful than you will ever know. Love you always and forever.
This Festival is the only one of its kind in South Africa… its just everyone short and tall celebrating their “Dwarfism” .Please note as I have said before although the “M”word is listed in South Africa as demeaning it is STILL widely accepted in many dwarfism communities I guess the reason for this is that in South Africa not much history surrounding the word is made reference to and its just always been there and never used in a demeaning way.. in the end its not about the word its just a video i thought i would share.
It seems Leah is doing so well that she leaves me with nothing much to say these days lol. Her progress at school has been awesome thus far. She loves being with her friends and loves learning new things every day in fact things have been going so well that Leah was recently awarded with most exemplary student. Needless to say the whole family was very, very proud of our little girl.
A few days after this event some dark clouds seemed to try and steal our sunlight. Leah and I usually have our girl talk time in the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner but this particular day she was unusually quiet and when I questioned her as to why she seemed so down, she told me that one of the kids in the class told her that their dad said the only reason why Leah was selected as exemplary student was because of her dwarfism and that they feel “sorry” for her and she got the award because she has a disability. In a instant I was filled with rage and I had to bite my tongue as I did not want to show Leah how this affected me, after all me doing a melt down is not showing her much encouragement on how to deal with these heart breaking moments, so I took a deep breath and I asked her how it made her feel when her friend said this, her answer was “I don’t really care anymore she is just jealous that’s all”. She made me so proud and I was really surprised at how something that enraged me to my core did not mean anything to her. I guess if I had acted out on my emotions she would be left doubting herself.
But this is my blog and now I get to say my say….
What does enrage me is that a PARENT (adult human in this case as ignorant as a rock) would put forward the suggestion that the only reason Leah was awarded is because “they feel sorry for her cause she is a dwarf”. This angers me cause it is these parents who teach their kids that disabilities is a “feel sorry” situation and that people with disabilities cannot really achieve much. Whatever gave you the idea that Leah gets special preference at school? The sad reality is you as a parent lack common sense and the lessons you instil upon your child will force the new generation to carry on with your selfish ignorant thoughts towards people with disabilities. It’s probably parents like you who park in parking bays reserved for those with disabilities because you are too lazy to make use of your fully functioning legs that extra few meters of walking is just too much for you to bear. Its parents like you who suffer from the worst know disability to mankind and it’s called IGNORANCE and you breeding this disease amongst your kids. I don’t blame your child I blame you for planting your seed of ignorance in their young growing minds.
I’m happy that Leah has not allowed any negativity to break her spirit, I’m happy that Leah has the support of loving teachers and friends at school, It’s just sad that there is one parent out there who has serious issues to deal with and I do hope you read this post and somehow find the wakeup call that might cure you from your own sad insecurities.
While searching for a document on my computer the other day I came across a folder containing loads of pictures of Leah and her sisters. There they were, performing in front of the webcam and clearly loving every minute. There are some shots of Leah were she had the camera to herself all of which I found very entertaining. The say a picture paints a thousand words, I think these pictures captures their personalities perfectly, full of fun and always ready for a laugh. Thought I would share a few…….THERE ARE LOADS, it was hard to choose hahaha
GOTTA LOVE MY GIRLS……THEY JUST LIKE THEIR MUM
UK based TV production company Dragonfly are making a documentary series for National Geographic International. They want to visit Little people all over the world ans they want to include South Africa……. they want us (South African lp parents and lps) to share our stories
I would love to hear from you guys, lets get out there It has to be worth their while to fly here and film, I have heard so many parents “talk” about raising awareness so here is your chance to put those words to action
I have been chatting to Alexandra of dragonfly and Im sure she would love to hear from you so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will forward all the contact details to you!! Lets show the world that LPs in South Africa are awesome!
How has Leah been doing thus far well after the first week of school Leah hit a bit of a wobble. We had to deal with some very difficult morning episodes of “I don’t want to go to school because I miss my mommy when she is away” this went on for about four days and I felt so bad leaving my little girl in tears not to mention all sorts of doubt started creeping into my head about her adjustment to a main stream school. I was assured by her teacher that the tears were but for a moment, usually about 5min then all was forgotten and she carried on as usual.
By the end of the week I had to put on my tough mommy wings and say “Let’s stop the drama Leah!!” this moment took her by surprise as she stood looking at me with those big eyes (they just melt my heart by the way). I then went through the “mommy goes to work and children go to school” lecture and we made a pact that involves a “I love you and you are awesome high five” which is our every morning ritual so far, this high five pact seemed to have done the trick and needless to say Leah has settled in and seems to be enjoying school.
We recently had sports day at school and I was so disappointed that I was not able to attend but luck for us Aunty Lucille rescued the day!! And I received running commentary and pictures of Leah’s first sports day…. so let me share some pictures of our little sprinter!! (Who took a tumble but jumped right up and carried on running lol) By the way she took 6th place out of 9 very fast kiddos….. not bad at all!!!
Ps: I haven’t forgotten about the BMN-111 updates, just waiting to get some feedback from the parents who have started their kids on the trials.
Leahs best buddies since pre-school!!:)
So far so good!! Leah is loving school right now………. its only been 3 days but its a good start