Educating

Let me start by thanking each and everyone of you that reached out while I am walking through some powerful grief over the loss of my sweet girl, Presley. From my kind blog followers to my tribe of friends, who have been diligent in texting me daily, sending me flowers, and taking me out to lunch, I am beyond blessed by each of you.

Now, for the meat of my blog post today. God has a unique sense of humor, so he provided an excellent distraction from my sadness in the form of an election. In my great state of Kentucky, we were spotlighted since our governor race was going to be tight. Our current or should I say, former, even though he won’t concede, is the most unpopular governor in the country. I am not going to rattle on and on about this, but I needed to set the stage for my real issue.

When Bailey turned eighteen, we opted to keep all of his rights intact. For the last, six years, he has been exercising his voting privilege. Prior to him making his selections, we go over the candidates and then just give him a slight overview of the ballot. Yesterday, we waited on Bailey and when he was finished, Brian checked it over realizing that he had selected to vote straight Libertarian. No problem, except he filled out the rest of the ballot. As Brian was trying to explain this to him, a woman gave him a “Voter Assistance Form” and said that it needed to be filled out in order for us to help him. Interesting. We have been helping him for six years, so I am a little surprised that all of the sudden it is an issue. But, hello, this is our seriously imperfect election process. I am not sure why I am surprised.

Anyway, I get Bailey a new ballot and while he works on that, I am filling out this form. It asked me why he needs assistance and then provides three options to choose from……blindness, physical disability, or unable to read English. It took me a hot minute to grasp that none of the choices fit him. In fact, of all the stupid forms that I have filled out pertaining to Bailey, this makes the top three. I walked up to the lady and informed her that there is nothing that identifies individuals like my son. She says, “Well, it’s a physical disability” and I respond, “No, he is intellectually disabled, not physically”. After going back and forth, she finally suggested I simply write it in as him having Down syndrome. I complete the form and hand it back to her. She asked me, “Will this be a temporary or permanent assistance?” Okay, by this time, I am ready to lose my shit. In my head, I am thinking of smart ass responses, and then I remember that I am here to educate people about Down syndrome. That can’t be accomplished if I am bitchy. “Down syndrome is genetic, so this assistance will be permanent.” I will be crafting a lovely letter to the state board of elections suggesting a change on their delightful form. Christ. On. A. Cracker.

As I am walking out, I realize that my spouse and son are outside. I suppose Brian wanted to separate himself from me in case the cops were called. I get it. My ray of sunshine is clouded by sarcasm and annoyance right now. I am proud that Bailey takes part in such an important process. Wishing everyone looked at voting as a privilege instead of an annoyance.

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