Oh. My. Goodness!!! Isn't there just so much scrumptiousness in this picture? Each of our pudgy cheeks are bursting with joyous smiles. Even though over 8 years has passed since this picture was taken and all of our shapes and forms have changed, the intuitive lines of this joy are what I sense when the dwelling of my family comes forward in my being. This moment-captured holds all the best of who our family is and what we mean to each other. Even though the girls are so much grown, and all of their time with us has transitioned from diapers and feedings, to homework help and chauffeur service, the imprints of who they are as human beings is as solid in this moment captured of our family as they are today. They are so beautiful.
It is from this inner knowing and dwelling of joy in my girls and our family that I seek to serve and love where and how I do. These scrumptious, giggly babes are in the process of growing up. And what is seen and welcomed from a young one, can often be rejected and shunned as an adult. As little ones, it was "no big deal" that they were more clumsy to the room, less interactive with the neighborhood kids, or having to complete as many weekly doctors and therapy appointments as they were days in preschool. Their difficulty with orientation of physical space, their ability and confidence to independently start, walk through and finish a multi-step task, adapt to changes in our schedules, maintain focus to a task, or safely play on a play structure or hike through the woods didn't matter so much as 5 and 6 year olds. The doctors and teachers presented as if they assumed that, since the girls verbal abilities were so healthy and strong, the other lagging or missing abilities somehow were less or inconsequential. It was ignored as if to imply that some how their verbal IQ could morph into "Non-Verbal" skills and abilities (ex. motor abilities or social aptitude, or executive function)
Standing from where I stand, with my girls, and family, in 2018, I can firmly say, IQ does NOT morph into other cognitive capabilities. In a time in human history, where there has never been any more global demands on students, the workforce, and our communities to perform as a whole neurological being, the lag and absence of a full range of neurological functions and abilities becomes crucial to individuals and families. The validity of my "babies" struggle and disabilities to stay focused to a task, or organize and move her body is hindering to her and those around her more than any handicap sign can articulate. They walk around with stealth disabilities that not only burden their present moments, but slay the psyche because their internal reality and struggle is not matched, nor acknowledged by the community and world around them. When your brain does not perceive, organize, or regulate in ways that match with the community expectation or demand, it creates the no-fun, "fun-house" effect. The exaggerations, the constrictions, the sprints, and the lags of neuro-diverse thinking and being often quickly transport individuals and families to islands of isolation.
I know as people and a community we can do better. This is my why. All families, regardless of their orientations, perspectives or abilities are WELCOMED into the community of human beings and the community of the human family. I know from the inside out that girls and boys, men and women, like my daughters and our family, who may live through some point of neuro-diversity, can and should be welcomed to community's table. Disabilities of Non-Verbal skills and specific learning disabilities are so incredibly influential and we can do better and understanding and accommodating these dear ones at our shared table.
I write and serve so that knowledge and understanding will expand and my squishy cheek bundles of joy babies will have the freedom to grow into the women that only they can be and they can share seats at society's table, where they are desperately needed too. I mean, look at that joy!! Who wouldn't want to share this at the table?!!
Melinda is a recovering "normal" seeker, who is often distracted by unexpected moments of nature's beauty or questioning children