Our lives became a little [EXTRA] special on February 15, 2011 in a way we never expected.

This is about our journey and the [EXTRA]ordinary people we meet along the way.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Please Invite "A Wyatt"

Our lives, in the human experience, are built around community. We naturally want to be around others (for the most part). Dinners, parties, celebrations, events, activities: all are valued and shared experiences with others.

What are you doing in the near future?

Are you having a birthday party? A play date? Are you going to the zoo?

If so, I encourage you to invite A Wyatt.

I say "A" Wyatt because I'm not suggesting you necessarily invite him (no, I'm not shopping out my child). But I am suggesting that you just invite someone like Wyatt. In other words: invite a child who is differently abled, or even is culturally different.

This topic is relevant because I have read a few posts this week from friends who are completely elated because their child with a disability was invited - for the first time in some instances - to a birthday party or an event for a "typical" child. (We also have a culturally diverse family, as my nieces and nephew are bi-racial.)

Haven't thought about that much? Well, maybe you should.

An invitation of A Wyatt to an event has many benefits; to both the child (and family of that child) who is differently abled, or diverse...and to the person or family who is doing the inviting. You see, parents of what we, in the disability world, like to call "typical" children (note that I did not say normal) probably do not consciously pay attention to whom they invite to life events. You invite kids who are in your child's circle. That circle is likely comprised of kids who are very much like your child.

Well guess what? Diversity is out there. Your child will likely interact with someone who has a disability, or who is culturally different, sometime in their life. And when they do, I hope that they have been given the life experiences to know that the person is not weird or strange; but rather that your child knows how to value diversity and the differently abled.

Teaching value of all people is a very important lesson in life. Starting to teach that lesson at a young age is vastly important, IMHO. Eventually, we all will likely be disabled, or differently abled at some point in our lives. We all have differences in idealism's and culture. Whether it be heritage, or when we are old, injured or sick. Because inclusion and acceptance of what isn't "typical" is not yet automated in our culture, we need to be purposeful about it. Purposefulness means thoughtfully including a diversified sample (read: disability, culture, age, etc.) of children into your child's life circle.

So invite A Wyatt. And if you do actually invite Wyatt, I promise you, you...and your kids, will not be disappointed. We will be grateful. And your child, and family, just might make new [EXTRA]ordinary friends.

Here is Wyatt interacting in a group with typical kids. Our sitter's son (who is ethnically different than our family...yay!) has completely attached himself to Wyatt : ) Happiness!

BUDDIES! (with Wyatt showing his silly face!)
See how Connor takes care of Wyatt? Awesome! [PS, Eden is second from right]

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