The Samantha Years

Learning Moments

I was planning on posting about our wonderful weekend in Beaver Creek and the fact that mama can’t do the bumps the way she used to….

This will come soon but something else has occupied my left frontal lobe…it’s taking up too much space so I must purge. It’s a good purge.

We got home this afternoon. Samantha was cranky, bags needed to be unpacked, calls to nurses must be returned and appointments for the week had to be made.

Samantha was tired; reduced to screaming in the middle of the floor. Bart was getting ready for a trip and I was supposed to lead a discussion tonight on Including Samuel. Including Samuel is a documentary on inclusion in public schools. It is a wonderful, moving documentary but I wasn’t in the mood to be moved.

I thought about cancelling the discussion. Long underwear, ski boots and gloves covered our living room floor. Samantha needed some attention. I was tired from the weekend and overwhelmed by the week. I couldn’t give anymore of myself.

But I went….long underwear wasn’t going anywhere. Bart and Samantha finally cuddled on the floor. I had committed…I headed to the library.

Instead of a group of caregivers, teachers or therapists, our audience was a group of adults living in a community home, people who have lived through public school inclusion or in many cases, separation into special needs classes.

At the end of the movie, one girl put her hand to her heart and said “This was my life!”

It soon became clear that I was not here to teach the pros and cons of inclusion, I was here to learn; learn about living a different life, being separated in school, being included and spending too much time in a hospital. We talked about Samantha, eating through a tube and trying to change perceptions.

I took away much more than I could ever give.

The underwear is still in the living room.

***The showing of Including Samuel was sponsored by the Arc of Larimer County A second screening will be held at the Fort Collins Main Library on January 30th at 2:45 pm. Admission to both screenings is free.

4 thoughts on “Learning Moments”

  1. I have heard good things about this film…I'll have to track it down. I've often found that the things I REALLY don't feel like doing are exactly what I NEED to do. I'm glad it was a positive experience for you.


  2. I'm sure those folks were grateful to have someone LISTEN to their life stories! Their words and actions spoke to your heart and soul. How beautiful!The long underwear wasn't really that important!


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