Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lost in translation

Tomorrow at daycare they will be celebrating Phoenix's 3rd birthday (which is actually on Sunday). I was excited to use his birthday as a way of spreading Down Syndrome awareness. I decided to recruit my graphic designer husband to design a card to hand out along with some candy. I planned on writing the text. 

Ben designed a beautiful card...the problem is that when translating from English to Norwegian my whole point got totally lost and I was very disappointed in the final product (a friend at work helped him translate it) and then he thought I was rude and ungrateful and threw all the cards in the garbage so I pushed him as I lunged for the cards and then it was full crisis. All in front of the kids AND the in-laws! UGH!!! Tears too.  

But I am very passionate about the point that I wanted to get across. 

I was inspired by this Archie's Room post and decided on a theme of "the same but different". That 3 years after his birth, after being depressed about diagnosis and praying for a "normal" child we were finally at a point of ACCEPTANCE (ok, not every single moment of every single day but close). So after writing a little about his birth, I wanted to write At that time we still wanted a child like everyone elses, but it is his differences that make him Phoenix. Today we celebrate Phoenix and his differences. What I got was It is his differences that make him special. He is Phoenix in all his uniqueness. 

CAN YOU HEAR THE DIFFERENCE? First, I really hate the word "special" in the this case. It focuses too much on the special ed, special needs theme and I don't want to talk about Phoenix in that way right now. Secondly, ALL KIDS ARE SPECIAL so I think it is rude to call my kid special and hand out a card to a bunch of parents telling them that my kid is special. 

I'm over it though. Their getting the card and candy anyway and now there is peace again in our house...I think.  

1 comment:

Merley95 said...

Yes, I hear the difference and I agree that it is subtle but important. Then again, I'm a total word freak who has made a career over the last decade in discussing "differences" "disabilities" "special-ness" and "birth defects" in ways that are both unambiguous and sensitive. A huge challenge, and that was only in English!

You and Ben both worked hard on this project out of love for Phoenix and I know that will be evident to the parents of his classmates. Love is its own language.