Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: I Won't Back Down

My oldest son Chaz turned twenty today. He was born the day after the LA Riots. I remember having my world turned upside down when he was born, only to turn on the news and keep asking, "That's happening here? In my country? Here?" Two kinds of innocence/naivete down the drain in one day was pretty heavy. Thank God for morphine or whatever they gave me after the c-section.

He's had this song on heavy rotation for the last few months, so I thought I'd post for him and me, too. It's a good reminder, especially with everything he has had to face and is yet to face as adult with a mental and physical disability.

It's not easy to be mom to a man who still needs so much help. But I know it's not easy to be a man who still needs so much help from his mom. I am learning to be more respectful and to back down so he can have room to make mistakes. He is learning to be humble and ask for help without getting angry.

The stand your ground line is especially poignant in the wake of recent events. I took a picture with a hoodie on a week after the Trayvon Martin incident, not because I believed Trayvon Martin to be innocent, but because with the information given at the time, I believed that there needed to be an investigation. Possibly an arrest. I was mostly left shaking my head.

-Zimmerman follows Trayvon who still has not been accused of doing ANYTHING suspicious. Trayvon sees that he's being followed, so Zimmerman's behavior IS suspicious--to Trayvon at least. He gets scared calls his girlfriend, puts his hoodie up and starts walking faster. Zimmerman gets out of his SUV and confronts Trayvon who has reason to be afraid by now. No one see's the beginning of the altercation, only the middle and the end-
So, it seems the real question here, is who was standing their ground first?
And since Trayvon is dead, I'm afraid we'll never really know.  

You may ask, what does this have to do with Chaz? What mom in this country didn't start looking at how their kid was dressed when they left the house, or thought about other's perceptions of their children based on appearance? Me, I have to worry about Chaz's reaction time. His response time is slow. He smirks when he is nervous. He doesn't want to wear a medical id bracelet. He's handsome and stocky and doesn't look like he has a developmental delay. He wants to stand up for himself and his friends when they are bullied. He wants to stand his ground. I want him to, as well. Just not with a costly price. 

Here's to hoping we can learn a mass lesson and to wishing many more birthdays for my boy.

1 comment:

cindycamp said...

I love Chaz. He's such a neat kid/man.
Both of you have done a great job. Some of the feelings I have as Ethan and I deal with his chronic headaches (he deals a lot better than I do) and my desire to see him reach his God potential in spite of them are probably not too far off from what you feel as you struggle to create a safe growing place for your son and explain him to the world so they understand/react as we feel they should.