Thursday, December 13, 2012

'I Could Never Do What You Do'

Came across this fascinating post by Rose Woodhouse, the mother of three children, one of whom has special needs, on The League of Ordinary Gentlemen blog.

There is a tendency, among people who do not live in Holland (i.e., who do not have a child with disabilities) to praise us Holland-dwellers. “I could never do what you do!” “You guys are simply amazing, the way you take care of him,” or “He’s lucky to have you.”
I’m not sure what to respond to these. (Well, to the last, I do say, “We’re lucky to have him,” because this is not something anyone says about my other kids.) Here’s what I am thinking, though, when people praise me. It’s not as if I had a choice, here. I’m doing the best I can with the hand I’ve been dealt, and so would you. What would you say if I didn’t take care of him? If I abandoned, or simply neglected him? Would you say, “Of course, that’s totally understandable!” I think not.

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