Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quilting Bee #16


Good morning all!! I have laid out something delicious this morning. I borrowed Martha Stewart’s cupcake book from the library. So…. for your taste buds today I have set up a few cup cake towers with these delicious treats. We have.. carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, sticky toffee pudding cupcakes, Boston cream pie cupcakes, classic vanilla with butter cream frosting, Lemon meringue cupcakes, S’mores cupcakes with toasted marshmallow tops & classic chocolate with fudge frosting…yuuuuummmmyyyy. I have also set out some pound cake and strawberries. We also have Kona coffee today and blueberry ice tea. Ok I didn’t say it was calorie free this week.

The quilt we will be working on is different, unusual, unique. I have racked it in the garden house..cool breezes flow through the floor to ceiling screens there. It really is a delightful place to be. Please pull up a chair and join me won’t you? So glad to have you here today!!

I have worked with young children most of my life. I am always the preschool teacher who is given the different children. They are labeled odd, not right, unique, disabled, autistic, ADHD, wild, undisciplined, shy the list goes on. The children who are on the fringe – one end or the other of the “Normal” scale. These children seem to just come to me, where ever I teach..no matter what, they come to me. The older children..yup them too and the adults..many of them have flowed through my life. As a teacher I am the first to admit, despite all my work and concern..some children need much more serious care than I could offer them. But more often than not, what I have found is that the children on the fringe are truly amazing. Years of working with children and adults with autism, Aspergers, ADHD, mental issues, learning disabilities, my sincere belief is…we are truly missing something amazing here. That we need to start looking at these children as “Differently Gifted” rather than set them apart as abnormal.

Have you seen the movie “A Beautiful Mind”? Take out the schizophrenia and you have my amazing husband Jim. I cried when I watched this movie… there was my husband!! He describes himself as “Mental Genius..Social Retard”. We laugh about this but it is very true. He has this amazing sense of humor that most folks will never see – because he feels huge discomfort around people. He is fine with me and the kids..wonderful really…but outside of the home, he functions. But…OMG that brain he has is beyond amazing… now…I am not a stupid girl but, he contemplates things that challenge me daily. What are normal conversations around here? Well… human genomes, protein strands, ribbons, black holes, mineral chemical composition, Latin roots, etc. etc. Amazing!! I am never bored with this man!! The fact that he adores me doesn't hurt any either.

So, what is my point today? After years of watching these folks on the fringe, I truly believe it is time that we recognize that different is not always a negative thing. That there are a large portion of these folks have things to offer us, huge gifts. Have you ever seen a Dr. in the ER with ADHD? Huge intelligence, unending energy!!! Amazing! I would challenge you to tell me of all the amazing gifted people you relate to on these blogs , which are “normal” and which are not?! Can you tell me if that gifted artist or writer is mentally ill? Should it matter? If they are labeled as “not normal” does that mean their amazing gifts are worth less? I for one think not. Maybe, if we quit looking at them as broken, but look for their gifts we might find treasures instead of junk. What do you think?

K…am stepping off my soap box and I think I will have……uhmmmmm..a carrot cake cupcake and some blueberry iced tea!! Yummmy! What can I get for you?? Thank you for joining me again today! I do love it when you visit me here! Namaste, Sarah

15 comments:

Holly said...

I find that we're a nation of people who just want to have a label placed on them. It gives them a reason to not try or push. A reason to be held static or discounted. It's a reason to become a victim instead of a willing participant.

I once had a student who was angry with me because I would call on her unexpectedly in class. She very testily said, 'I will bring you a note from my counselor, but you need to know that I have Situational Anxiety Disorder!"

And I said, "So, you want me to be okay with you for being S.A.D.? And you want me to accommodate you? Yeah, you're pretty SAD if you think that's going to happen. You want a degree in Mass Communications specializing in Public Relations and you want to tell people you can't be made anxious by the unexpected need to communicate? Umm, no. Not happening in my class."

So, she was mad at me for most of the semester. A year or so later, she sent me an email to say she was sorry and she was glad that I refused because I was the first person who ever challenged her to push past things and trust in herself a bit more.

I'd say we both won something through that experience. Now, may I have two cupcakes?

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Everyone has gifts to offer; we just need to take time to see them and value them. Thank you for sharing your most important "soapbox story" today!

LindaGJ said...

What a beautiful story Sarah. Thank you so much for sharing a part of yourself that is so beautiful. I feel the same way & always have felt that compassion.
Linda

Mel said...

Bless you, but you just made me cry...

There have been so many people who would love to attach a label to my sweet, baby boy -- and I have fought them all the way and will continue to do so...yes, he's *different* but that's who he is and there is NOTHING *WRONG* with this child....

Thank you....from me and Sebastian and for all the other kids out there who you honoured for just being themselves...

Audrey said...

All right my Soap Box loving friend - first I will start with the cupcakes. Is it rude to ask for one of each - they sound WAY too delish!

Now, as for your soap box - I SO agree with you! I worked for a very long time with the same type of clientelle, and I can tell you, as the song goes, "Those were the best days of my life!" I saw a side to humanity that I didn't know existed. I saw "misfits" who were more loving than the so called "normal" members of society. I saw human beings who were shunned because of their differences, and they never once displayed defeat - they kept trudging on. Truly inspirational people. Even those who were violent - unless they were psychopathic, the violence decreased when they were shown human kindness and dignity. So simple! Tolerance is desperatley needed in our society - thank you dear sweet Sarah for bringing this important point forward.

Love to you! Thinking of you and the family!
xoxoxo

beth said...

I love being considered different....and I am and I know I am, just like your hubby knows that he is.

my parents and siblings actually have always said "where did you come from" but love me for who I am and the thoughts that are never the same as their thoughts...

and my hubby...wow, does he ever love me for who I am and what I have to offer in regards to being different...

so with that....bless those in this world who don't fit into what society considers "normal" because there really is no such thing :)

great post !

Snap said...

I'm with you! (It's that simple.) !! :D

Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

I'm extremely different and I was designed this way on purpose. I LOVE it!!

Your blog is the second one to have the word fringe within it. Made me stop and question if there was a lesson in this for me today. :)

holdingmoments said...

That first part made me hungry, the second made me think.
What is a 'normal' person? No such thing; we are all unique.
Great post Sarah.
Now, I must get some food.......

Sherry Byrum said...

Oh my Sarah you do have the most amazing topics!! First of all I'm glad I don't live near you or all those desserts would put 20 pounds on me. LOL Sounds so tempting!!
I agree with you on your post, I too loved that movie "A Beautiful Mind". Vincent Van Gogh suffered from seizures and mental illness, I can think of many famous people who struggled with all the things you mentioned that in their time period they probably didn't know what to call it. So they were considered abnormal. There is a fine line between genius and insanity I believe. My experience has been the more creative, talented, intelligent people are the more they rebel against what is considered normal. Maybe they should stop trying to fit people in a little mold titled "normal" and embrace the unique gifts these children have. Maybe its the normal people that are broken. What is normal anyway, average? Who wants to be average? No me.

You are a blessing in the children whose path crosses yours, that I am certain of!

Namaste Sarah! You are an amazing lady!

Suecae Sounds said...

The more I read from your pen, the more I seem to find that the spirit of your writing inspire me in my life. It is funny how we as people can influence one another on such long distances.

Maybe you seem to get contact with these unique and different people because you seem so willing to look beyond what others might diminish as "odd". I think maybe that is the case.

Can I quote you on my blog? I would like to recomend people to read what you've written here, because it is very close to me. Both on a family and personal level.

I send you tons of wellwishes for you and your husband.

Christina said...

Thank for describing the desserts in agonizing detail. I am back eating low carb and almost cried. LOl

It is so easy to slap a label on someone and be done. They you dont have to try very hard. What you do with those kids is be their personal angel. My brother was described in various unkind terms as a child. Finally a doctor said "there is nothing wrong with this child, he is just a little different than other kids" It made all the difference to have someone not judge, to tell him he was okay. Keep up the good work.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Agree...100%. Unfortunately, form an early age, we want to be "normal" with minimal peer pressure to step out from that shell that lets us stand apart. Most people or kids do not see "different" as having gifts and they all do. The little boy that lives next to us has Asbergers and he is the most fun to be around. You just have to know what he likes and you have a true partner for hours!

Christine said...

Some of the most beautiful people in the world are not considered beautiful. What a shame! On the blogs, I don't think you can really see "that" part of a person. All the better so you can see through to there heart!

Blessings,
Christine

Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Yet another great quilting bee, Sarah! I was "different" in school, as was my husband, and now my son faces many of the same issues we did. I have learned to walk into teacher conferences with my head held high. With calm confidence, I tell the teachers and counselors that my husband and I had these same problems, and that we have grown up to be capable adults. (My husband is a college professor, so I think the proof is in the pudding.) I have no doubt that my son will, too. Usually they look at us in amazement, but then they start to relax and to accept him for who he is. Thank you for be open to "different!"