Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Love is all you need

Sometimes light bulb moments come from unexpected sources.  Who would have thought a politician could leave a lasting impression on the way I view disability?

Most Australians will remember former politician Kim Beazley.  I don't remember much about his politics, but I do remember that when he retired it was also reported in the media that his brother had died.  His much loved brother - who happened to have an intellectual disability.

Those words struck me at the time - his much loved brother.

At the time we were still new to the world of disability and I was coming to terms with what it would mean to have a child with a disability, and what it would mean for my children to have a sibling with a disability.  Would they miss out in some way?  Would they be unhappy?  Would they be resentful?  

The testimony of love for Kim Beazley's brother gave me instant clarity.

Love is the answer!

Love is what I want for our family and for my children!

I want our family to be defined by love rather than by disability or hardship.  I want my children to 'just love' their sister.  I don't want them to feel burdened by her disability or to see her as a tragedy.  I want them to just love her, and one day if she leaves this world before them for them to remember her fondly as their much loved sister.

I am getting lots of things wrong as a parent particularly as the tween years approach, but on this front I think we are doing OK.  Emma and Audrey aren't frustrated or angry that they have a sister with a disability - they love her.  

They just love her.

To check that I wasn't just projecting my wishes onto our family I asked each of them what it was like having Ashlea as a sister.

Their response?

It's awesome.

They also said it was funny.  And loud.

But both of them gave 'awesome' as their first response.

She is their much loved sister.

Thank you to the Beazley family for reminding me that LOVE is the key.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Introducing Cheeky Charlie

We have a new addition to our family.  

Meet Cheeky Charlie

For those not on Facebook who haven't been following the story as to how I weakened and allowed a pet in the house it went something like this.

Many years ago I promised Emma that if she ever caught a pigeon or seagull she could get a pet bird. I thought I was onto a pretty safe thing!

I didn't figure on the determination of the eldest child...

I was rather reluctant to get a bird and even offered the kids a free upgrade to a puppy but they insisted they wanted a budgie so a budgie we got.  He is very cute but appears rather shell shocked at being plonked into the midst of our crazy household.

Why are they staring at me???

Ashlea singing the budgie to sleep