We love our children simply because they’re ours. We love the ones we love because we have a special connection with them that makes us feel unique and perfect.
We love them because we understand their needs and we feel capable of fulfilling them in one way or the another. We have the ability to make them smile and the power to stop or in some way control their suffering.
Sometimes the roles change and they are the ones who make us feel good by reminding us we are not alone and that in our human fragility, love humbles, inspires and empowers us.
As parents, we love our children regardless of their condition. We love them in their weaknesses and their strengths, in their mistakes and their triumphs. They were born from us and by believing in them, we believe in ourselves. We accept them and embrace them for who and how they are.
They don’t need to belong to a foreign world to be loved.
Nor do they need to be children forever. They need not go through life giving kisses and hugs to be accepted by others. They don’t need to give up what makes them them human to be welcomed. On the contrary, they need to strengthen their personalities in the most natural way possible, by being treated with the same expectations, love and respect as every parent treats a child, with no differences.
Let’s be honest and accept our tendency to believe that in order to love children with special needs, we need to be better parents. We don’t. The beginning of the journey as a parent is unique for us all. Every parent needs to adjust to his or her child’s needs, which is why our children with special needs don’t need to belong to foreign world to be loved, and neither do we, to be loved by them and/or others.
For them to keep growing up happy, safe and capable, as their parents we need to give up on the fantasy of believing that they have no malice, that they are too innocent to be human and that their actions should incur no consequences because they are too special to be treated like everyone else.
Our lives as children are the reflection of our parent’s choices and expectations, and there is no more painful and horrible consequence than to be limited by a label with no opportunities to grow up as an individual.
If we as parents don’t open doors to them, we’ll witness how doors shut on our own faces over and over again. With our faith and by humanizing our children we open the most important to his or her inclusion, the door of faith in their abilities.
They don’t need to belong to foreign world to be worthy of admiration and respect from others. For that, like everyone else, they need to be empowered to do their best with what they have. Not for showing or proving something to someone else, but to follow the natural stages of reinforcing their abilities and gaining strength.
As parents, we don’t need to sanctify or victimize ourselves to be idealized as if loving our own children is a cause for admiration. As any other parent, we are supposed to do our best and to exhaust all the possible opportunities for the well being of our children.
Sincerely, they don’t need to be loved by everyone but respected instead. Everything starts from there. It’s illogical to believe that everyone could adore us. And that’s why we fight for rights that will always protect us, instead of adoration or pity that serves no real purpose.
It’s totally normal to be loved by some and rejected by others. As it’s totally normal to have the opportunity to introduce ourselves to others as individuals, and let them, based on the information they receive from us, make their own assumptions and create their own perceptions of us. And it’s not only normal, it’s our right to be given the opportunity to be recognized as individuals.
That’s why when trying to save our children from this natural process, we decide to instead dehumanize them and introduce them as people from outside of this world, as angels or “special beings”. We deprive them of their right to be recognized and to be celebrated with no prejudice, as humans with flaws and fantastic abilities.
And to finish, yes, it’s our right as parents to choose what we want for our children. But before making your choice, be sure to understand the consequences.
- Idealization opens a door to segregation, to the creation of a parallel world in which there are no more opportunities for them. It’s a one-door-only choice.
- The normalization of disability is not an easy choice and requires much effort and determination, but it’s a door that opens to an unlimited world of opportunities if we focus on their abilities by setting aside labels.
That’s a door that opens to the brightness and freedom of a typical world that requires the best of them and doesn’t expect them to be from a foreign world to be loved and accepted. All they need is to be themselves and, from our love and faith, to learn to maximize their abilities and live up to their highest potential.