Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adapt or Die

A couple ideas I had this morning converged in this common theme:

• Wondering, for example, why my kids continue to stick out like sore thumbs in the neighborhood, why it’s so hard for the other kids to incorporate them in their games

• Thinking about the pointed remarks from some one whom I ceased contact about studying the ways of neurotypicals very carefully to treacherous ends

Thinking about the way my little one looked at me this am, how he climbed over to be on the empty side of the bed and how he pushed his big brother over to make room for me. The look he gave me was me, probably at about the same age, maybe younger, and it was him too. He snuggled up under my chin and let me curl around him to warm him up.

Love is wanting to be the best person you can be for some one else, and G is just one of those people I want to be my best self for. Nic and hubby are two more. And the list continues from there.

Thinking about adaptation, it occurs to me that the kids in the neighborhood exclude because it is the natural order; there always has to be a them, and heck, I spent the first 18 or 19 years of my life on the outside looking in, so I should know better. Inclusion is not, despite what we like to think, instinctive. It’s easier to shut out and shut down people who are weird and different.

Which leads me to the second point. This same person has accused me (indirectly) of treachery and not being true to myself by adapting to the ways of the larger world. Actually, adaptation is important, because inclusion is not natural. If you want to survive in the larger world, you have to figure out a way to make your differences WORK in that world.

And I like to think that I’ve done just that. And it’s important that I imprint on both my boys the importance of applying their gifts and strengths in ways the larger world is going to see, recognize, and ‘get.’

I see nothing hypocritical in adaptation, particularly if the alternative is marginalization and death (in whatever forms these things take). If the point is surviving and thriving, the means by which to do these things is to find your gifts, and share them, and be amazed at what those who are open to receive will do with what you offer.

When I look back on this year, adaptation looms large. My returning to corporate after a 10+ year absence demanded much of my family, and they all rose splendidly to the occasion. And the larger lesson here is that I truly believe that they—and I—are ready for anything.

We are blessed. And I am humbled by the sheer magnitude of our blessings.

No comments: