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Friday, March 24, 2017

Attaining 'Special' V.I.P. Status

A Very Important Person
(not breaking news, I realize)
photo: DG Photography (and she rocks by the way)
Disability is a touchy issue. That's why adults constantly debate the careful wording of labels they are going to use to place on us, so as not to offend while somehow conveying the idea of "different" in the kindest way possibly.

But you know what the wise ones say: "Out of the mouths of babes." Like my brother Lucas, who aside from being a pain in my butt, is a sage. Lucas, who knows no labels at this age, shattered specific labels when faced with advocacy for his older brother.

Here is how it went down:

I went with mommy to pick up Lucas and Raia from their school. Not everyone there knows me since I attend another school and so one of Lucas's classmates stalked me for about 15 minutes as we played in the school yard. I wasn't sure if he wanted something or if he was just admiring my debonair good looks. I thought for a moment that perhaps, like me, he didn't speak. But I didn't ask. His curiosity finally prompted him to say something to another classmate, while pointing in my direction, still staring.

Tiger Mom, watching all of this, had been ready to pounce. When the pointing began, a fortunate and rare wave of restraint overtook her and she decided education would be a better path than risking arrest/pummeling a 5-year-old boy. And who better to educate a 5 year old than a 5 year old?

Mommy's intervention was thus: She told the boy that I was Lucas's brother and that if he had any questions about me, he could ask Lucas. Then, rather than wait for him to ask, she sent Lucas, as an ambassador of goodwill, right on over to the boy to answer his questions.

Here's what ensued:

"Why doesn't your brother talk?"

"He doesn't talk because he doesn't talk yet."

"Why not?"

"Because Daniel is an important child. A very important child."

And thus, I shed the word "special" and was promoted to VIP status.  Which, by the way, was always the case.

Lucas, ever prescient, used the week of World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, to educate his general public about the importance of certain children. Or perhaps the timing didn't even cross his mind. Nevertheless, his simple truth and his intervention elevated my disability into a very powerful status.

Important today, world leader tomorrow!

An important child.

If adults perceived the world through the eyes of children, the world would be a much better place.

Three very important children wrestling in their parents' bed

"For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14


  1. these are very important children

  2. When people start worrying about status, losing it or having it taken away, they hold on to it from fear of falling to a lower level of respect and dignity. This anxiety can also be caused by elements such as, recession, redundancy, promotion, retirement, unemployment, and by what other people think and say about you. In some cultures status anxiety may be taken more seriously. It is socially unacceptable to reveal one's level of status anxiety, so one tends to keep it a secret. Status

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