October is Disability Awareness Month. Witt's teacher Ms. Janet asked me if I'd head up the Hop-a-thon for their school to support muscular dystrophy. Of course I said yes, because I know why she asked. Because, even if it is muscular dystrophy or autism, there is such a need for disability awareness in this world, now more than ever.
What makes autism awareness so hard is the fact that you can't see the disability. You're eyes can't see it, even though it's just as present as the child with the physical disability. We can't see, therefore, nothing is wrong. So as a result, in many circumstances, kids with aspergers/autism are the ones feared, misunderstood, made fun of, the ones with no friends. They are the weird kids.
I've been struggling with this as I watch Race get older. It's so hard for me to watch him struggle in social settings. His peers are socially moving forward naturally. For us, moving forward is so much work.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had to run Witt's hop-a-thon. I'm so grateful for Witten and his understanding of what he was doing. I love the Montessori Children's House. Because I know that we weren't just hopping for muscular dystrophy that day. I watched Ms. Suzanne hop scotching, Witten hopping down the grass in a pillow case, and my good friend Vickie running the pogo sticks while Ms. Eva cheered kids on from her station. And all the staff actively participating in such a good cause. And in that moment, I thought of Ms. Cooley a few miles away with Race, doing her part; carrying the torch. And in that moment, for JUST a moment, my eyes teared up, and gratitude overwhelmed me. Because YES, we were jumping for muscular dystrophy, but we were also jumping for ALL disabilities. We were jumping for Race.