Photo: Jamie Sumner
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Disability representation matters, and that is why I am so excited to share a new book with you.
If you follow my writing, you are well aware of my passion for
advocating for kids with disabilities and special needs. I want to spread the message that all kids with differences should have the same opportunities as their peers, and should be viewed as equal, not less. That is why when my writer friend, Jamie Sumner, announced that she has a new middle grade novel coming out starring a young girl with cerebral palsy, I was ecstatic! I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this ground-breaking book!
To the mom who goes to Back-to-School Night by herself and sees everyone else chatting,
To the mom who couldn’t attend because she was working long hours,
To the mom who feels out of place at a PTO meeting,
To the mom who wants to volunteer, but is too busy juggling a toddler,
To the mom who feels left out of the “cool” mom group,
To the mom who wants new friends but feels incredibly awkward,
To the mom who feels like she always sits alone,
You can sit at my table.
I am totally THAT mom.
Each year when I send my daughter off to her first day of school, it hurts.
Like physically, in my gut, hurts.
My breathing feels shallow.
My heart seems to skip beats.
My cheeks are hot and tingly.
Waves of nausea pass through my belly like the ocean when a storm is near.
“Are you on my team?” my daughter asked me matter-of-factly tonight.
She has heard me say this before. That I am on her team. And it’s true that I am and always will be.
I will forever be her loyal teammate.
I will unconditionally be her devoted coach.
And I will for sure, at all the times, be her loudest cheerleader.
When I look back at old photos of myself, I sometimes feel a bit of regret.
As I place my hand on my now rounded belly or catch a glance of my now wider hips in the mirror, I want to tell that girl in the pictures to wake up.
To not take her body for granted. To appreciate herself as she is right then and there.
Then I stop and think that maybe I should be giving my current self the same advice.
Here is what I want to tell the girl in all of the pictures…