We just got back from a week-long vacation with my whole family. It was awesome – spending time with my parents and siblings was rejuvenating. While the grown-ups communed, the kids – all the first-cousins on my side of the family – played together. A good time was had by all.
It struck me after the week ended that everyone there accepted Gracie for who she is, and no one excluded her because of her disabilities. There was no fighting for her inclusion. There was no struggle to have her receive some basic service that’s practically guaranteed to a “normal” child. She is just Gracie, and her cousins love her and accept her for who she is. She played with them, they played with her, they all had fun together.
Now that we’re back in the real world, I am faced with finding part-time child care for her, finding a school that will accept and accommodate her, finding a place for her where she will flourish and thrive. But with family, I don’t have to work to have her accepted – they all love her for who she is: the beautiful, smart, sweet, silly, kind, wild child that she is. And she loves them, too.