Recently, I read a post by Suzanne aka: "Special Needs Mom" (She doesn't post on our site, but she is linked in to our side bar.) She is such a talented writer and puts so beautifully into words all the tender everyday experiences we all share. Her "Bad Mother" post from Feb 16 has really stuck with me. She writes of going to the park with her two girls and having a wonderful day when a 'golden haired girl' interrupts by staring and asking blunt questions about her daughters' disabilities. It was one of those days where she just wasn't in the mood to deal with that kind of thing and after answering numerous questions from the badgering little girl - she told her to 'go away."
Like all of us, I normally try to be polite and positive about MK's situation. There are days when I don't even give it a second thought. But there are also those days where I feel like Suzanne. I just don't want to deal with the staring, the looks, the awkward silences, the bold well intentioned questions. You know....and for those days, I loved Suzanne's post. I smiled and giggled when she divulged like it were a dirty little secret that she'd told that beautiful and whole little golden haired girl to "Go play.....somewhere else."
I guess I'm in a bad mood today. Because today is one of those days where the whole world felt like it was full of golden haired little girls. At A's soccer game this morning, a little boy came and stood in front of MK sitting on the blanket. She was wiggling, and kind of rolling on the ground. Her stiff and jerky movements looking odd and uncomfortable. She was happy. She was playing, and this little boy wandered away from his parents and just stood there staring. I just forced a smile at him and said nothing.
On the way home we stopped at the store. I parked in a disabled spot and got out to grab a shopping cart. It's the only way I can get MK and our new baby in the store at the same time. A man walking out of the store watched with his brow crinkled low on his forehead and his eyes all squinty. I didn't even acknowledge him. It was Walmart, and the day before Mother's day it was packed. I caught a lot of glances from other people. One woman saw me catch her stare and quickly smiled a smile that was kind, but also seemed to hold pity. I kept thinking of the golden haired girl.
I realize that my mood has 100% to do with whether these are good situations for me or not. I admit that I'm sure today only seemed that way because of my mood. People look at people. I look at people all the time. It's not because they have special needs. It's just because they are people. I can't help but wonder though, what the reality of the situation is. How many people really are looking at us because of the disability? How many of those people are thinking kind thoughts versus those who are being judgemental or feeling pitiful or repelled? On one hand I think - people are probably a lot more innocent than I give them credit for. On the other hand, I'm not so sure. Either way. Today - I want to tell them all to "go play.....somewhere else."