Courage and Sarah Palin

Yesterday morning The Today Show did a story on Sarah Palin. It wasn't a story about her politics or her readiness for office, her eyeglasses nor her choice of shoes. It was a story about her and Trig, and the audience she is attracting as a result of her son's presence on the campaign trail.

Whatever you feel about Gov. Palin it is hard to deny her courage. I disagree with those who claim she is exploiting Trig. I see the opposite. I see a mother who is proud of her son and dedicated to him. I see a mother who, together with her husband, is finding a way to balance family and career. It may not be the perfect balance nor the choice I would have made with a young baby with special needs at home. But she is doing it and, seems to me, doing it well.

As I watched the interview I was struck by her vulnerability. Her emotions seemed to be barely beneath the surface. This is where I see her courage. She began this process when Trig was 4 months old. FOUR MONTHS OLD! As the story revealed she has been thrust into the special needs community, and right or wrong, has become their superstar. She is interacting with people with Down syndrome of all ages along with their families.

When Wil was Trig's age it was still hard for me to talk about Down syndrome with strangers without fighting back tears. Everything was still so new, I was still learning, I was still getting to know Wil - he was actually just starting to wake up, I was still coming to terms with what Down syndrome meant for us then and in the future. I was still having a hard time interacting with the Down syndrome community. I went to a couple support groups but didn't continue because it was hard to see the older kids. It was hard to hear their stories. And I definitely was still having a hard time seeing adults with Ds. My emotions, mixed up as they were, sat just beneath the surface. I simply cannot imagine being out there like Sarah Palin is.

But Gov. Palin is out there. I do believe it is courageous. Whether she goes back to Alaska in a few weeks or ends up in D.C. I believe she has done a great thing bringing awareness to Down syndrome and I believe that she will continue to be a great advocate for our children.

And while I am on Sarah Palin I will leave you with this article from Camille Paglia of (It begins about five paragraphs down, after the bolded section.) I have been perplexed by some of the feminist attack of Palin and the anger from which it comes. I find this article on the subject interesting in part because of the woman behind the keypad.


greg said...

That's a great article by Paglia- I've found most of her stuff is really thoughtful. Unfortunately that's not the norm for political writing...

Spitmonkey said...

I love it, Stacy. Thanks for sharing. And now I shall finish reading the article and blog about it shortly thereafter. :D

toddandholli said...

Yeah she's also a sling wearer! I noticed her wearing Trig in the brand new Hot Sling. That mama's got style.

Tom P. said...

You know my politics so you know I don't think Palin is qualified for the job blah blah blah. But I have no problem with her bringing Trig around with her. In fact, I think it is great because it is creating buzz in the media about Down syndrome. And I have no problem with the way she has balanced her career with her kids. I think this is a choice that every mom has to make and how they make that choice is really none of our business.

Traci said...

Awesome post! I was not ready either when my daughter was Trig's age. I didn't want to go to DS support groups and I wasn't really comfortable talking about it either. But that has all changed... I can talk to anyone about DS now!

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