Thank you Taylor Swift for fighting back

In 2008, I attended a Taylor Swift concert. As I walked to my seat it was impossible to ignore the excitement on all the little girls’ faces who were there to watch their idol. As she came on stage, the girls jumped up and down and sang along to every word. It was contagious. Even I felt like I was 10 years old again. While watching, I couldn’t help but think that Taylor Swift is (so far) a great role model for these young girls. I wondered if that would change. Would she fall into the mentality of “sex sells” as too many before her have? Fortunately, almost 10 years later, I am glad to say that she has stayed true to herself and her fans. For that, I say Thank You Taylor Swift.

As I watched the show, I had no idea that I would shortly find out that I was pregnant with my own little girl. Now my daughter is almost 9, and she loves Taylor Swift too. She loves her so much that she did her second grade book report on her. As part of the assignment, she dressed up like her idol. That morning, my sweet girl was a bundle of nerves. She dressed quickly, making sure to leave time for hair, makeup, and – of course – pictures. As we drove to school, the excitement beamed from her face. It was obvious that she was ready to conquer her presentation.

Although my daughter adores her, she doesn’t realize why Taylor Swift is such a great role model. She doesn’t notice that Taylor Swift dresses rather modestly or that she is a strong business woman. She doesn’t understand the meaning of some songs, such as Fifteen – even though every time I hear it I pray that she’s not like “Abigail”. I want my sweet girl to keep her innocence forever, but I know that I can’t keep everything from her for too much longer. After all, we live in an overly sexualized world where even TV commercials allude to sex. But, one day she will understand. When this time comes, I hope she stands up for herself.  If someone touches her against her will, I want her to show the same strength that Taylor did in her recent court case.

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Your Medicaid stereotypes can kiss my ass

Anyone who knows me will tell you that one of my favorite songs is Salt-N-Pepa, None of Your Business. My favorite line in the entire song is “opinions are like assholes and everybody’s got one.” That phrase has been all too true over the last few months as my Facebook news feed has spilled over with friends posting their Medicaid stereotypes. It is as if they are overnight experts in Medicaid recipients and funding. The truth is they have no idea what they are talking about.

Why is this an issue? Simple question with a simple answer! Being a special needs mom has taught me that our private insurance in which we pay ungodly amounts of money for – even though it’s employer sponsored – is essentially meaningless in the special needs world. The caps on therapy services and minimum payments on Durable Medical Equipment (DME) has left us with vendors who refuse service unless we have Medicaid or pay out of pocket. The result? We now receive TEFRA Medicaid for my son and know its importance in the special needs world.

On more than a few occasions, I have taken the liberty to educate these narrow minded souls on exactly what Medicaid is and who all it covers. Yet for those who continue to spout their ignorant bullshit, let me take this time to provide you a little insight and explain why I wish you would shut the fu – I mean fudge – up.

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You don’t have to be “special” to have a special needs kid

Since beginning my special needs journey, I’ve learned to adjust to the comments and actions of therapists, doctors, and other well-intended people. Therapists frequently remind me that the special needs journey is “not a sprint, but a marathon.” This makes sense and is usually a nice reminder. At well checks, I receive a paper handout of the quintessential milestones that my child should be able to do for his age. It’s as if the physicians completely forget that my child is disabled and delayed. Even worse though is when strangers say hello to my child and wait for his response. Since I live in the southeast region of the US where silence is taken for rudeness, I immediately blurt out that my child is nonverbal. However, through all of this, hearing – special needs children are given to special moms – is what drives me crazy.

God gives special needs children to special moms:

In the south, also known as the bible belt, God is often at the center of conversations. Therefore, it is typically stated or implied that God gives special needs children to special moms. It is also considered inauspicious to question God’s actions. However, I find myself wondering how a God who is so loving and forgiving could take away my child’s ability to do things that come so easily for others.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful beyond words that my son is here. And for the record, he is perfect in his own way. I just wonder why my son has to go through this hardship to begin with. If it is God who decides then why would He make my child suffer? Why make any child suffer? Is it because I’m special? No. In fact, it’s safe to say, Hell No! I know that God didn’t plague my son with Cerebral Palsy because I’m a “special” mom.

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