Saturday, December 5, 2009


I mostly blog about our family and positive things but something happened this morning that really irritated me and I knew I needed to blog about it. I took Grace to the Pediatrician this morning because she has really been struggling with a cough and congestion the past few days. Well when I went to get her out of the crib this morning her face was swollen and she just looked miserable. Thankfully our pediatrician has Sat. hours.

While we were waiting in the waiting room a very sweet young girl came over to talk to Grace and I. I learned her name was Brittney and she was 14 years old. She asked lots of questions about Grace and offered her toys to Grace. Brittney is different from other 14 years girls. I'm not sure exactly what her diagnosis is but one of her legs is shorter than the other. She wore a special shoe and she spoke differently. She wasn't a "typically developing" child and this I can very much relate to. After talking to us for a while she walked over to a woman with her little girl not much older than Grace and asked how old the little girl was. Next thing you know the nurse was calling Brittney's name and off she went. We waved bye and started to play with the etch-a-sketch. Next thing I know the woman beside me leaned over and in a not so quiet voice and said "Her Grandmother needs to keep her over there and under control." I just looked at her in shock and didn't say anything. As I sat there realizing what she just said I became so angry. Angry at her ignorance and angry that my children might go through the same ridicule one day. I want to protect my children but I know that there will always be ignorant people out there judging those different than themselves. (this woman's little girl had HUGE ears but did you hear me kid has some big ears, have you thought about getting them fixed? NO, I would never say something like that because it's not important and it doesn't define who she is!)

I went from being angry to feeling bad for this woman. She probably doesn't have the pleasure of knowing a child with a disability or felt pride by watching a loved one accomplish a milestone that others take for granite. I also realized that I want to do everything I can to educate those around me so that there is less ignorance. But I know it's not going to be easy and there will always be those people who will get under my skin and upset me. I just pray for patience and for wisdom on how to respond.


Jae said...

The truth is- especially for Grace because she doesn't 'appear' to be different- people are always quick to ask questions, meaning well. And once you answer the questions (at least in our experience with Soph) people almost visibly back off. Or you hear 'oh, I'm sorry.' I 100% agree with your post when you said that people can't understand the joy you have when you see your child work for a milestone that others achieve effortlessly. I think as long as we keep ourselves surrounded with people who love our little ones and want to see them achieve their fullest potential- we can weather the ignorant statements of those people who are fortunate enough to have 'typically developing' children and 'typical' lives with their children. We're in a special group- we get to love our special kids and know that they are in OUR care because we know there is nothing more important than giving a child a safe, healthy, happy home regardless of the way they appear to the rest of the world. You're doing an amazing job.

rosemary said...

I feel angry with you, babe! I hate it when people act so nasty and hateful for no reason. When our families look different and our children have special needs there is nothing for us to do but be brave and speak up. I think you have a wonderful heart and you are doing a great job! Grace and Reese couldn't have better parents than you and Matty. You are perfectly equipped to do the job of loving and protecting these two amazing girls!