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  • Kristina Mulligan

Speak Their Truth

“Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes.” Ruth Bader Ginsberg

That’s a great quote, isn’t it? I mean, with RBG, I’m not surprised. She was (and still remains) a walking quote…

It encompasses parenting a child of a disability in so many ways. We can’t only be parents, we must be on the forefront, right on the battleground. We are front-row center fighting for rights, equality, inclusion, accessibility, and a brighter future for our kids every single day. Among so many other things, we’re equal parts parent and advocate – even though some days it doesn’t feel all that equal.

The interesting thing about advocating for someone else though, is that you’re not speaking your truth. You must speak theirs.

Often times, there is commonality, especially in the cases of equality, but there can be a fine line between what you believe is best and what your child may someday want for themselves, or even what is truly the “correct” choice right now. As a parent, it can be tough to admit, “maybe I don’t know best…” but it’s the truth. There are times where I’ve had to set aside my ideas – and my pride – to make sure that we’re headed towards Flynn’s best future, not what I once believed to be the proper course. Once you strip away the past perceptions and ideals you had for your child, in any case, things become a whole lot clearer. Because if the result is a better life, it is absolutely the proper course.

I can’t say that I was born as someone who spoke up, but there’s something about becoming an adult and seeing the unjustices in the world firsthand that lights a fire in your heart, especially when it comes to your children. I’ve learned exactly where my voice hides. I may not always sound confident, but I am no longer a timid little girl.

But, even through a shaky voice, we use our voices to advocate for what’s best. Sometimes, that advocacy is in front of a crowd of people looking for guidance. Sometimes, it’s as a group of people looking to change the world together.

And sometimes, it’s one parent – with facts and figures in hand – looking for answers, treatment, or honesty from someone more powerful.

Even the most trembling voice can have power when it shows up to advocate for change.

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