Monday, March 16, 2009

Defining yourself

I think the one thing I would like people to get from Gavin's story is something so simple, but yet difficult to do. I find myself doing it. There are so many qualities and traits that make us who we are. If something is very profound about somebody, they are usually placed into a category of people. This is something we all do. It kind of goes back to my story of placing judgment upon strangers, or even people we may know.

Gavin, is a gorgeous, long-eyelashed, one dimpled, curious little boy who happens to have vision loss. Gavin is not defined by his disability. It is not all of who he is. For all intents and purposes, this blog is to share his diagnosis we were just given a few weeks back. What I share here, yes, is about his vision loss. What I share here, is just a part of what makes Gavin, Gavin. I will not allow him to be defined by his inability to see. I don't want him to be known as "That's the little boy that can't see, his name is Gavin." This vision impairement does not put a stamp on him, and then plopped into the "blind" category.

I think this is so true with all children who have some sort of disability or something about them that sets them aside from the rest. Aren't we all different?

I find myself doing the same thing, and I need to realize what I do. I tend to do the label thing, and I need to reallign my thinking - it is just human nature. I need to make sure Gavin doesn't cast himself. That is our jobs as parents, to no allow their label define all of who they are. I'm sure many parents with children of various impairments can somewhat feel the way I do. Obviously this is a new road for us, one that will hopefully fulfill us all with more than we have ever imagined. I will make sure Gavin is not defined by what he cannot see. There is so much more to this little human being than whether or not he can see his surroundings. Although having a vision impairment is HUGE, we will find ways around it to make all things possible. I am learning about myself (as I stated before) through this whole process. I have put labels on myself (good and bad), and I need to begin thinking outside those labels, because it's very easy to put limitations on yourself. Children need to be empowered to become all they can without restrictions being placed on them, simply by a defining, but powerful word(s).

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