Monday, August 31, 2015

I see you staring...

In one way, I get it, people stare, they are curious and not sure what to say or do. When it's kids, I'm more understanding. Kids are growing and curious. It's our job as adults to educate them, to talk to them about why they are staring and get them engaged. I find myself often saying "Hi, I'm Sarah, Bella's mom, how are you?" Usually it pulls the child's attention away from my child and onto me. Usually that's when I get "What happened to her hand?" My response is always "She was just born that way. What questions do you have about it?" Sometimes kids ask more questions and sometimes that's the end of the conversation.

Today is Bella's last day before starting first grade. We went on an adventure to a park she loves that's about 30 minutes from home. We packed lunch and were ready to enjoy our day. The kids were all playing and I could tell by Bella's face she wasn't comfortable. I stayed close by. I noticed the same thing she noticed, four little girls staring and pointing. I asked her if she played with the girls yet. She hadn't. I asked if she wanted to, "Kind of", she said. "Go ask them to play!" I tried to sound excited. She didn't want to. She never ended up playing with them. I talked to them for a few minutes, no one mentioned her hand. I didn't either. Maybe I should have...

A bit later, we ate lunch and were back to playing. My senses may have been a bit heightened. I may have been a bit on edge. I saw a grandma of two little girls staring and pointing while talking to the grandpa. I approached her, Bella came with. The grandma shoed the girls off to do something else. I wanted to say "I SAW YOU STARING!!" I wanted to educate her. I wanted to get angry. I wanted to ask her how she would feel if someone was staring and pointing at her or one of her granddaughters. I didn't. My goal is never to isolate my child, so I didn't say anything. If Bella had not been standing next to me, I would have said something nicely. Instead, I let it go.

My feelings were hurt for my child. Not only does she encounter curious children. She encounters adults who are idiots. Adults think she doesn't have attentive parents that are watching what they are doing. Adults who think that staring is okay. My feelings were hurt for me too. How could another adult be so insensitive? I'm learning every day how to be a better mother. Motherhood is no joke. It's not for the weak or wimpy. It's a challenge every.single.day. Sometimes I rock the shit out of it, sometimes I fall flat into the mud, sometimes I'm in quick sand all day.

Bella kept wanting to leave but wouldn't tell me why or wouldn't talk more about anything. I asked her why, how she was feeling, what was going on, she refused to answer. She is her mother's daughter for sure. We stayed, we played. Along came a little girl in a white tank top. She was a third grader she told Bella. She and about 5 other kids played a congo line on a tight rope, Bella and both boys played too. She was kind and friendly. Bella didn't want to leave. She was having fun with this little girl who took charge.

I walked over to a group of mother's and asked which one was her mother. One said "Oh no, me why?" I told her of our morning and I commended her for raising a child that included all of the kids of all ages in her play. I told her how Bella's attitude changed because of her child. She thanked me and we talked a bit more. She, like me, is a mom of three. She has good days and bad days she said. I told her I just wanted her to know she was doing a great job. We enjoyed chatting until our kids interrupted her. I felt good about commending another mother. Motherhood is no joke. It's a challenge every.single.day.

1 comment:

  1. things will get better when Bella is older, other children at an older age will not ofcus so much on her hand, a prosthetic hand will help too.

    i recall an article about an American woman born without both arms ! and she can even fly a plane !

    ReplyDelete

Prosthetic update!

Wednesday, Bella and I finally get to go to Chicago and pick up her prosthetic! To say we are excited might be an understatement. We'll ...