It’s something we often take for granted until we lose it, right?
Freedom to work
Freedom to vote
Freedom to worship
Freedom to choose how many children we have (or don’t have)
Freedom to marry who we want
Freedom to change things when they’re not working
Freedom to pursue our dreams!
Freedom to rest
Freedom to grieve
Freedom to celebrate!
Freedom to move, if we so choose
Freedom to reach our highest potential!
Freedom to live & breathe & be ourselves in whatever capacity we desire.
This freedom can be elusive for some –
Not entirely graspable –
Or palpable –
Freedom for those of us with profoundly disabled children can look very different & not so “free.”
The inability to attend the local parade because of sights, sounds, & lack of adult changing tables.
Or the lack of job options that accommodate the demands of the caregiving life.
The hindrance of freedom to choose the firework show because of sensory overload.
The ache we feel as we decline a cookout invite because of inaccessibility.
Or the inability to rest because of constant fight or flight.
The divide & conquer with hotdogs & s’mores in our own backyard because of strict, immovable routines.
The fear of moving to a new state because we’ll lose our waiver spot.
The lack of communal worship because there are few special needs ministries.
The inability to vacation because of elopement & meltdowns.
The void of play because parks don’t spend taxpayer dollars on big kid options.
The isolation of home, which sometimes feels like a prison because the world is not made for children like ours.
It’s a gift that’s not guaranteed – not even in America.
Notice the families with needs.
Notice how your freedom might look different than theirs.
Notice & then do.
Do something to help them feel a little more free.
Do something to invite them in
or show them that you care.
Create a special needs ministry.
Reserve spaces of quiet at the local parade.
Set aside your fear & learn.
Advocate for adult changing tables in public restrooms.
At the very least, offer a meal.
Recognize that your freedom is not their freedom & then in gratefulness, act accordingly.
Happy (almost) 4th of July
God Bless America
Just Keep Livin’
To read more of our family’s story, check out my three books!