Monday, August 23, 2010

Presidential Sweets

There are certain perks that go along with J's position with the White House Communications Agency.

There's the exclusive White House merchandise. Remember the Easter egg and my "First Lady" bathrobe? And then there are the tickets to special events--professional basketball, football, and baseball games. Earlier this summer, WHCA personnel were invited aboard the Presidential Yacht USS Sequoia:

Presidents who chillaxed on board

Non-President who chillaxed on board

Family members were invited to participate in a tour of the WHCA facility back in June.

The Obrownies

The Obamamobile

Last week we were delighted to get a tour of the White House. What a treat! Well--maybe not for the unfortunate security guard who informed me that my purse was forbidden on the tour. He then had to endure my TMI explanation of what was in my purse and why I needed it.

Have you ever seen a Black man blush?

Once inside, (sans my Coach), the White House was magnificent. The view out of the Blue Room--facing the Washington Monument--was breathtaking. Isaiah even got an unscheduled tour of the kitchen. His wheelchair gave him and his escort, Daddy, access to the "secret" elevator--which happened to be through the kitchen. They shoulda snagged some "O" dish towels...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wahine's Night Out

Saturday night I met up with some old friends and a few new ones. We met at a trendy, hip Hawaiian restaurant and bar, beautifully located right on the water. Sometimes it's nice to be a girl out on the town. Nobody under the age of 12 calling me "mommy". It felt good being with what I affectionately refer to as The Grown & Sexy.

And even though I have a child with different needs, there were still moments that made me as typical a mom as the ones I was surrounded by. We enjoyed laughs and traded stories of preteen angst. But inevitably the moment comes when I am again reminded just how different my world is from so many other moms.

A friend of a friend--an educated mom who works with children, whom I'll call "Betty"--threw around the r-bomb a few times. Made me totally uncomfortable. She had no idea at the time that I had a mentally retarded child. And I didn't want to go there. There are times when I just don't want to go there. When I just want to have a good time. Not try to educate the world.

But it is also in those moments that I feel like if I don't say something, I'm letting down Isaiah. I'm letting down my family. I'm letting down my friends with special needs kids. I'm letting down anyone who has ever cared for or loved a disabled person.

When the conversation turned, I did explain Isaiah has cerebral palsy. Betty countered that she didn't think CP had cognitive implications. So then I had to school her on the brain cysts. His developmental delays. His brain damage. Came just short of whipping out his MRI pix.

Talk about a buzz kill.

I don't typically go into social situations looking for sympathy. When people start talking up their kids, the first words out of my mouth are never "Well, my son is disabled." Because there are so many other things he is. But if I'm pressed, I'll gladly share.

At the end of 5 hours, I left feeling recharged and refreshed. I don't know if I had any influence on whether or not Betty will ever use the word "retarded" in that context again. But I would hope she'd at least think twice. Think of her friend's friend, Sharon, and her precious son, Isaiah---who is many more things than "retarded".


Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Bundle of Joy

I was in the basement doing laundry the other day when I looked over and saw that Isaiah had made himself cozy in a basket full of clothes. He enjoys listening the sounds of the washer and dryer...even had his foot propped up while the other was swaying to the rhythm.

Now if I could just teach him to fold and put away...