Today, the "using my kid" thing got under my skin. I was actually just interviewed on a local radio station (Lazer 103.3) due to these very instances explaining that sometimes there is a story behind the internet memes that are spread around the internet like wildfire. Everyone is so quick to judge but don't want to take the time to check their facts or read about anything that doesn't really affect them. Spreading hate is so much easier than learning a thing or two.
Our family was going through (and still is going through) something VERY REAL and very scary when his images first went viral. Count yourself lucky if the best thing you have to do all day is bash another mom for her parenting. I spend my days going to a host of therapies, driving hundreds of miles to see specialists and hoping that someday we will have a name for the thing that has impacted our child's EVERYTHING.
Taking a harmless and silly set of photos was a spur of the moment thing that we did to *gasp* entertain ourselves and like most kids, our son loves having his picture taken and posing for the camera. I also happen to be a Graphic Designer so we took our favorite pictures, made a montage of it and shared it with our friends - who actually care. I had no clue that some jerk would take it, claim it as their own and spread it around the internet so I could have slews of people attacking me and claiming everything from abuse (physical and emotional) to people saying they hope my son grows up to kill me to insulting my home (which you can see very little of in the photo).
People assume that I meant to have my son's image go viral which is furthest from the truth. If you know me, you know that I owned a business before I closed my doors and I did a lot of charity for babies and animals. I closed my doors to my shop to become a mom and I took great pleasure in sharing my son's better moments on our Facebook Page. I had no idea that within 24 hours that someone would steal that image and that a year later his image would still be going viral and that there would still be those judgmental folks out there who have nothing better to do than be hateful and spread negativity.
If I could go back and undo posting that image I would still do the same thing. Not because I love reading how people think my son should grow up to kill me or to know that Bob V from Washington doesn't approve. I would post those images again because I have met so many other mothers going through the same thing! I have helped other moms. Other moms have reached out because of this one photo and my persistence in trying to tell people that there IS a story behind every picture. I can't do anything about my son's image being stolen but I can try to turn something negative into a positive by educating people about children with special needs, childhood brain tumors, rare chromosome disorders and a host of other subjects.
It is an unfortunate fact that the people that feel inclined to be hateful most likely won't even take the time to click on a link to read about such things because pecking away at the keyboard being judgmental and hateful is so much easier than being a good person who is open to discussion, willing to learn and being open-minded.
Luckily, I have a host of therapists and specialists who tell me that I am doing a great job and believe me, they see a lot of people that don't. My son's improvement is a testament to that, considering one year ago he couldn't even sit up on his own or hold his own bottle and right now he can walk with the help of a posture trainer and SMOs! Abram is a fighter and has worked hard and cried through nearly all of his physical therapy but he is turning into such a bright little boy with a personality to match. I have heard good reports from his Neurologist, Physical Therapists and Occupational therapists just this week.
So I will end it with this:
Be kind. Learn something. Read More. If you have healthy children, be grateful not hateful.