A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just a little reminder:

Sometimes words and actions can be hurtful. Being the grandmother of a beautiful little girl who just happens to have C.P. I am reminded everyday how words can be hurtful, more often than not these words are not meant to be offensive, or hurtful, it is simply the lack of understanding.
So I thought I would just subtly remind people to choose their words a bit more carefully. I can’t tell you how many times in a week, Hailey comes up in conversation (well, hundreds of times actually, after all I am a proud Grammy). Very often when I happen to see or hear from someone that I haven’t heard from in years or perhaps it just comes up in general conversation that Hailey has C.P. It never fails, the dreadful words slip off their tongue effortlessly and without much thought “...Oh, i’m so sorry, that must be so difficult, is this something that she will grow out of” or how about this one...she will never have a good quality of life. Though I am well aware that her quality of life will be compromised, the reminder is unnecessary and I chose to focus on challenging her everyday and promoting her independence. These are the kinds of things that will benefit her best. I’ve heard people say that people with C.P. and other disabilities are not normal, and I can’t help but wonder who decides what “normal” is.
As defined in Wikipedia... In behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average. The phrase "not normal" is often applied in a negative sense (asserting that someone or some situation is improper, sick, etc.) Well, Hailey is not improper at all. Actually her actions happen to be more proper than the people who ask these silly questions or make these remarks without thinking them through. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I didn’t do or say similar things before Hailey was born. I had no idea what to say or how to act around others who had a disability. But now I know better, and I want you to know better too. Always be aware of the impact your words can have on others. Teach your children that it is o.k. to talk to people who have a disability, otherwise you are not only sending my child the wrong message, but your child as well. I think it is all in the education, it is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another, so please, pass it along.


  1. Lovely post Janet. It must be so hard for you to hear those words about Hailey. I often think that sometimes it is harder on the grand-parents than the parents. You see, I am with Ben all the time, so I don't have time to worry about him or be upset by the fact that he has CP. It is when I am not with him that I have the hardest time...because he's not there to show me how wonderful he is and how happy he is. But my parents only see Ben once or twice a week...so they have lots of time to think and wonder about him when he's not around. And then have to go days and even weeks sometimes without their "Ben fix" as I call it.

    I love your blog Janet...it's so wonderful to see your love and acceptance of Hailey just the way she is...and your such an awesome educator too. Hugs!

  2. Excellent post, Janet. You gave us all a subtle reminder without going on a rant. It's so hard to know what to say. Why not share with us some of the comments that have been particularly appropriate and positive? I know that would be a help to me.