President Obama went on David Letterman's talk show on Thursday night (3/19/09). While there, without a teleprompter, he made a joke saying that he bowls like someone in the Special Olympics. He quickly apologized, and his apology seems to be accepted by the American media, at least, who talk about a slip of the tongue.
This remark made me sad. Yes, it's the kind of quick joke that many people might make and I don't read too much into it, but frankly I don't find it funny. When I was pregnant with my second child I had an abnormal alphafetoprotein scan early on that indicated a slightly higher risk of Down's Syndrome, but didn't get amniocentesis because a) I wasn't going to *terminate* anything, and b) there was a risk (odds quoted to me were 1/300, admittedly low but not zero) that it might cause the pregnancy to miscarry. I thought long and deep about the baby, and made my own the thought that a person is worthwhile simply because he is, not because of achievements or qualifications or anything else.
Our son was born perfectly healthy, and is currently a curious and active seventh grader. I don't know how he's able to eat as much as he does!
Still, there are many parents and children who do have challenged children. These children are greatly loved and wonderful, but they and their families face additional problems that those without them cannot imagine.
Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for vice president in the 2008 election, recently addressed the Special Olympics organization. This video is fabulous!
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