Autoethnographies of Educators Learning and Teaching With/In [Dis]ability
Chapter 7: Listening: A Star Is Born!, by Bernadette Macartney
Our first child Maggie Rose was born at home in a southerly storm. The wind howling outside the night she was born matched the intensity of what was going on inside our house—I had a sore throat for three days! Maggie’s dad, Tony, and I had been living together for eight years before Maggie was born. We had lived this time in our small community by the sea. Our village had one of everything. One harbour, one mountain, one shop, church, early childhood education centre, school, library, community hall, rugby club, even a local bar… What we had in abundance were hills, beaches, friends, sheep, and horses!
Tony and I wrote a song for Maggie after she was born. We wanted to welcome her to our family and to promise a place where she could grow strong within our community. She had no disability labels when she was born—they came later. Tony and I invited our family, friends, and community to help welcome and celebrate our newborn Maggie. They gathered with us at home. We planted Maggie’s placenta back into the earth under a Kowhai tree that blossoms yellow in the spring. We all sang the song Tony and I had written for her:
Underneath this little Kowhai tree
Growing strong by the sea
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