One day this week, an editorial ran in a Louisville newspaper about tax policy and the governor's race. I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with PWS and, lucky for you, I'm just about to tell you! 🙂

Within this editorial was a story from a book called The Cotton King by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of many parks in Louisville as well as NYC's Central Park. He told of travelling in the south and being confounded by the fact that there were holes drilled into the floor of the carriages. The carriages in the north didn't have holes in the floors. He thought it was odd that these in the south did! After he came to the first stream in his travels, he found out why. Often, along roads in the south during this time, there were no bridges. Passengers would lift their feet while the horses pulled the carriages right through the streams. Once they had crossed, the water drained out through these well-placed holes and everyone went on their way.

The article went on to talk about state funding for this and that, but the story made me think of something quite different. Often, in dealing with our children with PWS, our ways and means come under question from those outside our families (and sometimes from those inside!). They can't figure out why we do things like we do since it's different from how THEY do things. They don't understand why we have holes in our carriages since they don't have holes in theirs. Like the writer of this story, until they ride down our bumpy roads and cross our bridgeless creeks with us, they will never know why we do what we do. We understand the need for our carriages to be equipped as they are, but, the sad fact is, that most outsiders NEVER WILL.

What it all comes down to is this. It just doesn't matter what they understand or don't understand. The southern carriage designers were SMART for drilling holes to drain the water that they knew was coming. What good would it have done them to have a solid floor just because northerners did, and then have the water come bursting through the doors of the carriage, ruining everything? LIke them, we are SMART and we do what we do with our children for good reason, no matter how that seems to those who are not living this life. We don't always have time to explain our reasons since we're quite busy trying to get safely across the streams of our lives, streams that sometimes turn into raging rivers with not much notice!

For those who, like this author, will take the time to ride along and see the end result, understanding is possible. After all, the goal of the carriage was to take the passengers to their chosen destination and they did that well. Our particular goal of the moment in dealing with our children, especially in a crisis, may not be clear to outsiders, and our methods may be called into question, but our ONLY concern can be to do whatever needs to be done to reach our goal and help our children. The southern carriages, oddly constructed as they were, got their passengers to where they were going. We, too, will do our best to get our children to where they are going, no matter how many bumps and creeks we have to cross to get there.

Rachel

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