This post was developed in collaboration with P&G as part of their Love Over Bias campaign. This is how I see my kids and the way I dream everyone would be able to see them.
If you could see them the way I do, you would see the impressive beauty in their almond eyes, the unbeatable strength of their small hands, the great ability hidden behind disability, and the empowerment of love over bias.
Emir is going to be 14 years old in a couple of months while Yaya is ready to celebrate her 11th birthday with a Super-hero party at school. Every word that comes out of their mouths is precious. They still struggle with speech. They are still working to communicate in well-structured phrases. It takes longer for them to learn and master things. But to me, and because every step has been meaningful and every advancement counts, everything they achieve and are in the process of achieving is magical and perfect.
If you could see them in the way I do, you would understand that communication is more than words, that communication starts in our hearts and grows upon love, patience, and understanding. You would cherish their errors in speech just because in the eyes of a mother, there are no mistakes but opportunities to grow. You would be fascinated by the abilities that challenges can create.
If you could see them in the way I do, you would see the endless possibilities that each one of them has in their individuality. You would be able to look into their eyes and picture their futures from a place of joy and faith. You would get excited and inspired by possibilities. When I look at him I see a chef, I can listen to his laughter, and I can picture joy, love, and immense satisfaction in his future. When I look at her I see lights, I can see her smile, and feel her excitement every time we publish a new video. I feel her pride when she looks at her pictures and realizes how talented and beautiful she is. I see her self-confidence as she believes that becoming a model is a dream she deserves to follow.
If you could see them in the way I do you would be able to admire their strength, their passion for living, their day to day effort to achieve simple but incredible things. You would see two hearts full of love and two souls with tons of compassion and gratitude for the small things that are huge in their eyes. You would find inspiration in their happiness, by their simplicity, and their passion to live. You would also learn that none of these things come as a result of their disability but as the fruit of their abilities and the love and faith with which they’ve grown.
If you could see them in the way I do, you would never doubt the magic of life. You would realize that every life counts, starting as a blank page on which parents choose what to write. You would realize that predictions and probabilities are not what’s truly important because love enables, love heals, and love teaches you to see in ways that you never expected to see. You would learn the most important lesson that every loving parent learns: children with special needs don’t make their parents special but instead, we are all allowed to called ourselves special when we do our best, when we believe in our children, and we teach others with our expectations how we expect them to see our kids.