Perplexed is about the only word to describe today's events. Back in April I signed Josie up for a summer school program here called Fast Reading that is for 3 weeks starting today. We have heard remarkable things about this program from friends and have had high hopes that it will be a method that will help Josie's reading. We had to get really organized in order to make it all work with swimming and therapy. Anyway, we went to the first day. She was thrilled to be there and was actually looking forward to beginning her new reading adventure (not her favorite to start with anyway). She did a good job, of course made everyone in the room feel comfortable and then we left to go to therapy. Just as we were about to arrive at therapy, Mrs. Duffy the head of summer school called me. This is what she said, "Hi Mrs Hull?" "Yes" "Your daughter, Josie, can't come to our Fast Reading program because she is handicapped. We will refund your money because she can't come she is handicapped." Dead silence...did she think I signed her up for the cross country running team?! After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I tried to find out why a child that couldn't walk wasn't allowed to learn to read in her program. She was at the same ability as the others in the class. I found out that her mental ability wasn't the issue it was her physical issue. I told her I would be with her so they didn't have to worry. Nope, she was handicapped I wasn't fingerprinted (which of course I would run out and do), she just wasn't allowed to be there. Wow. I respect that there are situations in life that we are not all privied to no matter if it is for race, religion, sex, abilities I get it, but I have to say I am really perplexed why a child with physical limitations can't sit in a chair and learn to read.
The saddest part of all this is that Josie heard the conversation. I have spent the rest of the day working through tears of complete failure. She absolutely fell apart at therapy (Does Mrs. Duffy want to pay the bill for the day? It is a lot more than her 3 weeks of reading class.) I had to convince her that all her hours of hard work are paying off and that she will achieve her goals. I had to try to explain that even grown ups don't know right from wrong and that we have to be forgiving. As she was going to bed tonight she looked up and said, "Mommy, if I had my motorized stander I could have gone in the classroom by myself and then I could have stayed." Yes my heart breaks tonight. My heart breaks for my hero that sees the world through rose colored glasses, that makes sure everyone around her is happy and comfortable in any given situation, and that always has a smile on her face no matter how hard something is.
So Mrs Duffy, you have taught me humility today. I thank you for that. You have also taught me to remain among people that will love and support us for who we are. Mrs. Duffy, I pray for you tonight that should you have the fortunate pleasure of meeting another child like Josie that has to fight so hard through life and is happier than anyone else who has every opportunity in the world and with a working body. I hope that you will learn from them because you were lucky to have been in their presence. Thank you Mrs. Duffy for renewing my faith in the great people around us. So to all of you reading this we love you and consider you all amazing blessings in our lives. We truly can't do it without all your love and support. Good night and God Bless you all because we are blessed by you. Jenny and Josie