Day 152: Love, no matter what.

Andrew Solemon spent years researching parents of children who were deaf, suffered from Down’s syndrome, or even those who had murdered somebody. He then decided he wanted a child. When his friends questioned why he’d come to his decision, having spent years researching what could go wrong, he disagreed with them. Solemon had learned that love was all that matters.
The common theme throughout the heartfelt stories in this talk is that parents never wished their child was different. Instead, while they may have wished their son didn’t suffer from Down’s syndrome for his sake, or that their daughter wasn’t deaf for her own, universally one thing was clear. Each disability led a child and their parents into a culture, with deaf culture being as valid as Latino or gay culture for example. As part of his research he saw deaf theatre and deaf poetry and while he didn’t want to join their group personally, Solemon understood that they belonged.
But what about the parents of children perceived by others as evil? Solemon spent many hours in the presence of Dylan Klebold’s parents. Klebold was one of two high school students who committed the Columbine massacre in 1999. His mother said she would ask him to forgive her for being his mother and not knowing what was going on with him. She said it would be better for the world if Dylan hadn’t been born, but not better for her.
Love is different from acceptance. Solemon tells us love is always there, yet a child who is different needs social, family and self acceptance of their condition. Instead of believing in loving children ‘if’ or ‘when’, follow Solemon’s lead and believe in additive versions of love.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s