Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I hear you!

Sunday, Bella and I had a "date day". She needed new leggings (holy batman growth spurt!) so being that she ONLY wears leggings for pants, we decided to go shopping just the girls. We went to Kohl's and she picked out things she liked. This was a first for us, since we usually always buy stuff second hand. Leggings aren't really something that you can buy used, they get worn out. In order to encourage matching, I let her pick out shirts to match too. She was quite funny to shop with. Anything I picked out was "totally insane" or "SOOOO itchy", anything she picked out was naturally super comfortable. Gotta love strong willed girls! We finished up with two new outfits and went on to grocery shop.

We got to Aldi. She was in charge of picking stuff for her lunch and I was in charge of the list. Behind us throughout the store was a mother with her two children, an older daughter and a younger son. The son was older than Bella, probably 8 or 9. Bella and I were laughing and talking but I was distracted. Behind us, I could hear the mother and the son.

"Look mom, look at that girl's hand" he said to his mom. His speech was a little slow. His sister, probably 10 or 11, started to stare. The mom shushed him.

"Mom she only has one hand!" He said with excitement about his discovery. Once again he was shushed. This continued throughout the store. I tried not to get frustrated. It has been SO long since something like this happened. Or at least in my mind, it had been awhile. Bella didn't hear him or his mother. She didn't notice the staring and the boy trying to make his way around things to look at her.

We got to the cheese case. I looked at the boy and his family and smiled. I noticed he had two hearing aids with the magnets that attach to your head, indicitive to me of having cochlear implants. Ah the years of working on that patient unit paid off! Although instead of feeling relieved. I grew more irritated. Had he ever been made fun of for having difficulty hearing? or for having hearing aids? Or difficult speech? Has his mother never had the conversation of not pointing out differences? Or not pointing out others differences? Has he never been in Bella's shoes? Has the mother never dealt with people staring at her son? Or pointing out his difference in public? Did she appreciate questions or hearing the banter followed by shushing?

We continued on our grocery trip, Bella never noticing what was going on mere feet from us. She was enjoying our date our mother daughter time together. We finished up and I hugged her once we got to the car. I kissed her head and thanked her for all of her help with shopping. I told her how I enjoyed our date and our shopping "just the girls". We blasted the Sam Hunt CD in the car on the way home at her request. I would NOT let one child and his mother destroy our happiness. I would NOT draw attention to my daughter in public since she hadn't heard. I would NOT let this once instance steal our joy.

I do wonder in situations like this if I shoud have business cards with the link to our blog. To share our story and our journey. To educate others... I will continue to wonder until I make a decision...

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