The "r" word.
Do I even have to type it out? I wish I didn't, but if I promised to use this space for anything, it's to educate, so here goes. The "r" word has become one of those words that I just cringe (and die a little inside) when it's said. It's a hurtful word used mostly in ignorance. Heck, I know I used it before Jack was born. Now I know better.
The word is retard, folks. Please remove it from your vocabulary.
For a moment, sit and think what it must feel like to hear that word used. Imagine what it feels like to a parent of a kid with developmental delays. To kids with speech disorders. To kids with cerebral palsy. Like "that's so retarded" or "what a retard!" or "haha they thought he was retarded"... inferring that something or someone is stupid, less than, a moron or idiot. Can you see where I'm going here? Not cool, people. Not cool at all. My son is not less than. He is a freaking miracle.
I know there are a lot of campaigns going on out there to remove words from our vocabulary. I'm not the first one (by a long shot) to the scene of this issue. And I'm for sure not the thought or the speech police. I know you have a freedom to say and do things. I can't make others around me stop using words. I can only plea to your good conscience.
And I can also do this. I can choose who I am around. I can choose who I listen to and who I hold in high regard. I can choose to remove myself from a conversation. I can choose to confront.
Is this easy or pleasant? Of course not. But this is necessary. I am looking out for my precious boy and many others like him that do not have a voice.
Sad to say, this word is used pretty commonly in my community and in my sphere. And if it doesn't rip my heart out each time I hear it.