I'm feeling the gap more now.
Other parents before us, walking similar paths, warned me about it. 
When I posted her Kindergarten graduation picture. 
I was so proud of her. 
Of all she accomplished not just academically but shoot the physical feats she had to climb. 
But, I remember parents warned me to enjoy it then. 
Because soon I'd feel the gap widening between my daughter and her peers. 
And what inclusion would looked like. 

When she went to daycare just two days a week. 
When she was only two, after all her eye & heart surgeries. 
I felt it a little. 
But the Centre, bent over backwards trying to make me feel good about leaving her there.

Then she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease & me & the staff scrambled to accommodate her dietary needs while keeping her safe and making it do-able for the Centre. 
It worked as we modified. 
That's when I got my first taste. 

A few months later she got Type-One-Diabetes and I had to pull her. 
Because the care wouldn't be available for needs as high as hers.
Then school started & modify & accommodate became a 2nd language for me. 
IEP & medical care plans. 
Training staff & fighting for policy changes. 
It all came hand in hand when dealing with Pip. 

But, now here we are almost 2 years into staying at home & doing remote learning. 
And I can feel it the most. 
Not just with Pip. 
With my friends in the Down syndrome community, fighting for rights that should be a given. 

This week Katie, a fellow Canadian momma & advocate shared about her fight with the YMCA about how mistreated her daughter Kenzie was. 
Another mom I met when we both spoke at a conference in New Orleans, Alyse is battling a teacher who views her daughter as "surviving" instead of what she should be, thriving. 

It's exhausting friends. 
It truly is. 
There always seems to be a battle. 
And as hard & as tirelessly as we all fight. 
There is this gap. 
That no matter what, is always there. 
Be that developmentally from peers. 
Be that no staff trained to help accommodate.
Be that no expertise in modifying work academically. 
Or be that negative attitudes & perspectives of others just not wanting to work with children like ours. 
And that gap hurts. 
Try as we might as advocates & mothers. 
It just will never be an equal playing field. 
And maybe never in my lifetime. 
But, I like to think that all the moms like Katie, Alyse and so many others picking up their sword each day and fighting. 
If not for our children, then for the ones after us. 
Because as much as the gap is still there. 
It was moms before us, that helped make it what it is today. 
So, even if we don't benefit or feel the narrative shift. 
Hopefully the mothers & daughters like ours next will...


Check out Katie's post to see how you can help - #ForKenzie