Monday, January 11, 2010

LOSER!

So I guess Phoenix is a "loser" because he has Downs. Yup, that's what we learned from the director of the daycare. Apparently a boy was asked why was crying and he responded that someone had called him a loser like Phoenix and then named the other boy in daycare with Downs. Hmmm. I'm almost more shocked that children so young use the word "loser" and then equate it with special needs. Is a "loser" someone who doesn't have verbal skills? I guess he could mean that Phoenix doesn't have a lot of friends. I mean, Phoenix probably doesn't get invited to play with the other kids. An adult usually has to be there to help him interact with others, namely because he doesn't have verbal skills and doesn't always understand the rules. Plus, Phoenix's idea of fun isn't always the same as a typical 4-year-old's. For example, when we play soccer with the boys Phoenix thinks it is fun just to steal the ball and hide it instead of kicking it back and forth. This is obviously annoying to Rio and even to me! I just wonder how the boy came to the conclusion that Phoenix and the other boy must be losers because they have Downs. Calling Phoenix "retarded" ALMOST seems more appropriate than calling him a loser.

I'm not teary-eyed and heart-broken about this. Of course it saddens me but I'm more like...and so begins the bullying. It is terrible that I just EXPECT that this is part of parenting a child with special needs...in a perfect world the popular kid would befriend Phoenix and thus the rest of the school would see Phoenix as this sweet, quirky human being who contributes his part to society and deserves just as much dignity and respect as anyone else. Do I expect Phoenix's younger brothers to protect him from such bullying? YES! Is that pressuring them? Or maybe they will be bullied because they have a brother with special needs and they'll come home crying that they wish Phoenix was normal. THESE kinds of thoughts do break my heart.

I guess the future is unsure no matter what kind of child you have, typical or non. Most people have heard the following speech, but I want to hold myself and our family to these standards. It seems like lately (probably a result of lack of sleep due to the baby) I am impatient and angry with Phoenix and not setting a loving example for Phoenix's siblings. Giving into those feelings and then taking them out on Phoenix is my sin. I have a lot to learn from this high schooler.

4 comments:

Merley95 said...

(sigh)I suppose for all of us there are and will be disappointments at every turn in life, and none so great as the ways we disappoint each other. I guess our challenge is to find and grasp those fragments of hope and joy that are also there at every turn.

I can't help but remember being on the bus in Tromso with Phoenix "stealing" my hat from me and sitting on the floor in your parents' living room when he was "tricking" me with the puzzle. His joy and laughter have been gifts to me.

If that's what a "loser" looks like, I guess I wish I were a little bit more of a loser myself.

Sari said...

Your thoughts and worries of the future echo mine, and I am sure all of us, raising our kiddos.
I have often asked what "my" role in everything is - what am I supposed to be doing with my life..? And now hear it loud as anything straight from God - there will always be kids and grown-ups who will do and say the wrong thing, but my job is to show them differently. With kindness and understanding and sometimes persistance - though that is NOT always easy.

Phoenix's brothers will stand up for their brother because they love him, because he is one of the boys, because you will have instilled in them compassion and kindness for ALL human beings.

You are an incredible Mom, Cortsa. We all are short tempered with all of our children, here and there.
Don't be too hard on yourself.

Boooo to the word loser and to the ones using it.

Melanie-Pearl said...

mom used to say, sad as it is, she'd rather have her kid be the one bullied than the one bullying.

i feel more sorry for that kid than i do for Phoenix. (i know he will rise---look at who his mama is!)

life is amazingly beautiful when you believe everyone has something individual to offer the world. sometimes it's heartbreaking and sad, too, because we have to interact with people who don't "get" that belief. love you and your whole fam because you've always gotten this!

Tivona said...

The obstacles, the trials, and the tribulations that do not kill us only make us stronger, if we allow ourselves to be forged by the fire. I believe God has a plan for each member of your family to become a strong without becoming hard, and for you each to be a shining light to lead the world. You are so much stronger than you know, and your boys will be all that you are and more.