The Adoration of the Christ Child

The Adoration of the Christ Child
See if you can spot why I like this image

Everything in its Right Place

A blog about disability, life, parenting, and learning what it means to live well in this world.

Monday, April 26, 2010

oil and water

You know what happens when you mix oil and water together? If you whisk it really hard it goes all smooth, and then like three seconds later it's separate again.

That's a bit how I feel about Adam's "new" school, which is actually a special needs school and a mainstream school merged together. I really enjoy the Headteacher, and the parents I've met so far, and deeply love the kids, but it's still oil and water. This is a tough mixture to get right. It's also tough to stay clear and focused when you feel your child's needs are on the line.

I wrote this little blurb to someone on email tonight, and I want to put it here for a couple of reasons:

"We are having an inane discussion about jogging trousers, of all things. Some of the ASN kids can't manage buttons or zips, and/or have frequent accidents, and so need to wear jogging trousers. Now that they are merged, they have to abide by the "standard" uniform, which does not include jogging trousers. I asked why the standard uniform is not jogging trousers to begin with. That would put all the kids on equal footing and not single anyone out. Because, as one parent put it: "they don't look smart." Exactly, I said to her. The ASN kids don't look smart is the underlying belief, and we are not about to be brought down by them. I find this kind of discussion exciting and worth having, whether in the church or the school system."

First, this is an example of what is happening under the surface in any merge: it is rarely two equal groups blending together equally. It is often one larger group allowing/absorbing another smaller (not necessarily in size) group into itself. I understand this, and yet to pretend that kids with special needs are automatically included or on similar footing just because you say it is absurd. Disability is absolutely opposed to the way our society is set up. It brings people down, to be honest, and nobody wants to be brought down. I'm not being ugly: when our society is set up for people who have motor-neural difficulties, and problems communicating, and behavioural issues, and low muscle tone, etc., and the rest of the population has to fit into THAT mold, then we're talking.

Second, I want to be reminded of what my idols are. More specifically: I can easily get caught up "advocating" for Adam in quite good ways, and they become my identity. At the end of the day this is God's story, and Adam is very much a part of it, in all that he is and is not. I can raise my fist and proclaim the "truth" as much as I want, but, as St Paul reminds me, if I do not have love it is all in vain.

If God has called me to be a whisk, then so be it. But may I have the grace to love everyone I am "whisking" and resist the temptation to thump my fist. For in doing so I drown out His voice.

1 comment:

Amie Vaughan said...

well said, steph. and good on you for it. i'll be excited to hear how your whisking goes.