13 November 2008

Stupidity Breeds Contempt (Learn To Love)

Redneck Mommy has done it again. She posted something that pissed me off, made me laugh and got me to thinkin’ (uh, oh, where’s the mop and fire extinguisher!), and that takes a lot of talent. I dig it. The post was about stupidity of a particularly nasty nature; for the full-on, 3D stereophonic RM experience goes here: http://theredneckmommy.com/2008/11/12/its-true-you-cant-put-a-price-on-stupidity/ If you are a reasonable, caring person, this will take your breath away.

It wasn’t the author who ticked me off (she’s funny, profane and a talented writer); it was the idiot she was writing about that did it. It really got under my skin, stuck in my craw, as it were. It made me laugh because Redneck Mommy has a knack for handling some tough topics in a thoroughly engaging manner. It got me to thinking because I heard some echoes of my own personal experiences.

When my twin daughter and son were delivered prematurely, two days shy of 26 weeks, it was pretty clear that things were not going to be easy. The doctors and nurses, between tending to our babies, were very helpful in telling us what could be expected in the NICU and what could happen in the long term. Preemies face a long climb under the best of circumstances. The list of possible negatives was long: respiratory problems, heart problems, developmental and behavioral problems. Long term care was a high probability even if the kids made it out of intensive care. A tall order, indeed.

But you know what? I was not going to worry about all that. It may have meant some years, maybe even a lifetime, of hard work to raise our kids if they had even a fraction of the possible physical and mental health issues of which we had been warned. Sure I was scared as hell, but those kids were mine, no matter what. No Matter What. As it turned out, we would not get the chance because our babies did not make it. There are no words to describe how that feels. At least, none in any language that I know of. What I was not prepared for was some of the reactions from those around us:

“Maybe it’s for the best. They probably would have had health problems.
…heart problems.
…mental problems.
…lung problems.
…blah, blah, blah…”

It was making me crazy. Let me get this straight: it is better to watch my children sicken and DIE because it would spare me and them from having to deal with chronic health issues? Better than having to deal with developmentally challenged (if that is the ‘right’ term), LIVING children? Ah, yes, I certainly wouldn’t want to have the inconvenience of so-called disabilities on top of trying to take care of babies.

Excuse me, but how does that calculus make sense?

I know people meant well. They were trying to offer comfort where none could be found. They were trying to offer something that might ease the pain. I know that. But how could they not see that I loved my children, I wanted my children, no matter what problems they might have as a result of their prematurity? The only people here who were spared anything were my kids. They were spared more suffering, spared possible months or years or a lifetime of pain or ‘disabilities’ and the shocking manifestations of ignorance that can be encountered in life.

Redneck Mommy’s excellent post reminded me that content is more important than form, and the ignorance of others should never define who we love or why, especially when it comes to our children.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...