Today, as you probably already know, is Ash Wednesday, the official opening day of Lent. Matt is giving up coffee (I'm expecting him to come home from work with caffeine withdrawl headaches these next few days), and I'm giving up chocolate (most of my pregnancy cravings revolve around chocolate, so this should be a tough one for me). Since I'm pregnant, I can use my "Get Out Of Fasting Free" card today, but I'm still trying to eat "solemnly," by which I mean, no beverages other than water and no junk food (even the chocolate-free kind).
Today, as you probably didn't know, is also r-word awareness day.
To put it briefly, my daughter is retarded. According to the actual definition of the word. So when we use the word "retarded" to describe a lame movie or an awkward dance move or a bad presidential candidate, we are saying that the most notable characteristics of the intellectually challenged is that they are lame, stupid, awkward, and worthless. Abigail is none of these things. Retarded is not a cool slang word, it's a cruel hate word.
We are respectful of our black neighbors, Jewish grocers, Hispanic bakers, and homosexual baristas, but my special needs child?
Spread the word to end the word.
You can read past articles I've written on the topic at In A Perfect World and a blog post from Down Syndrome Awareness Week in 2012.
May you have a Lent just painful enough to make your Easter awesome.