Sometimes, you can brainstorm and plan all you want with writing and blogging, but you can never tell how a post or article will be received.
And then there are those times when you just write what has built up in you from experiences and feelings, and it resonates so deeply with people in ways that you never expected.
I hadn’t given any previous thought about writing this blog post called Parents: What I Wish You Would Do. It stemmed from several awkward encounters the week before with other kids, and I sat down on a Monday morning, typed it all up, published it, and then left for Ohio on Tuesday morning.
While on my trip, I began getting all kinds of comments and emails from people who read it, and from other sites who wanted to republish it.
And of course, not everyone agreed with my words, but as far as I can tell, most people have been very respectful in voicing other points and opinions, which is appreciated.
Last week, a site called FaithIt asked about republishing it, and a couple of days ago – after reviewing the site – I said yes. I admittedly had no idea what a large audience FaithIt has, and on Monday night, my blog crashed because of the high volume of traffic. I spent several hours on Monday night and Tuesday morning trying to get it back up! I’m still reeling, weeks later, from the impact of that post. But I think my favorite effect has been other parents writing to tell me that they are feeling more empowered to talk to their own children about differences, and they are feeling more equipped with what actions to take and words to say if a situation arises when their child asks a question about someone else’s differences. Several parents have even told me that they’ve been so embarrassed when that happened with their child that they didn’t even consider the hurt that their actions might have caused the other family when they pulled their kid away.
Now I believe many families are looking at differences in a whole new way and are hopefully being more proactive in simply talking to their children about differences. And these are conversations that need to happen in our society, in our schools but especially in our homes.
I’m still learning so much as I walk through life raising one child with typical skin and one child with a skin disorder about how to advocate, how to react, when and what to share, how to be involved and when to step back. And I will continue learning for many, many years with each new situation and encounter. So I guess I hope others can learn with me along the way – can learn from me and can teach me as well – so that we can all help each other be more accepting, respectful, kind, inclusive, and to just simply enjoy and celebrate this life.
If you subscribe to my email list, you can download a list of my favorite children’s books about differences and disabilities!