Sunday, September 21, 2008

CdLS Blog Challenge - Public Scrutiny

The challenge this week is to write about our experiences with public scrutiny. We have always gotten lots of looks when we're out and much more so now that Sean has gotten older. He is about the size of an 11 year old but now sports a pretty nice mustache which can get some double takes. I am holding off as long as possible before I start shaving him because it's quite a chore just getting through his hair cuts.

I do remember one time when he was around 10. My mom and sister were here visiting. Clayton was about 3 and my niece was just a baby. We all went to the mall. Sean was still small and was in a regular stroller. After shopping for a while we went to a restaurant in the mall to eat. While Sean loves riding in a stroller, he doesn't like it when it stops moving. I took him out of the stroller and was holding him and feeding him crackers while we waited for our food. I had noticed a man and woman looking our way a few times, but with three little ones we were putting on quite a show so I didn't think a whole lot about it. As that couple got up to leave they came over to us and applauded me for bringing Sean with us . The man commented how lots of parents don't take their kids out and it was very good that I was doing that. The man had worked with special needs kids and that's why he had noticed Sean. They asked about his syndrome and then went on their way. I thought it was very nice of them to have stopped to make their comments.

Another time, only a few years ago, I took Sean in to Dollar General to pick up something real quick. He had been at school all day and wasn't in much of a shopping mood (come to think of it, he never is!). We went in, I went directly to get what I needed, and then got in the checkout line. There were several people in line so we had to wait a little bit. Sean has the patience of a gnat so didn't like having to wait. He was starting to get antsy and a little loud. I was singing to him and clapping with him (things he loves) to try to keep him occupied. I looked up and saw a man and we made eye contact. He said "Good for you, good for you." I just smiled and turned my attention back to Sean. I'm not sure exactly what I was getting kudos for but I took it as a compliment.

I know people aren't trying to hurt my feelings or Sean's when they say stuff or ask questions. I try to always look at it as showing people that these kids have lives just like everyone else. There are so many people that are never exposed to these kids and if I can show just one that they are just people, too, then maybe they can show someone else. I would much rather someone ask me a question than just stare and go on by.

And, like Maddy's mom said, maybe there will come a day when we won't have to explain why our kids look different. They will just be kids like every other one.


Heidi @ GGIP said...

Thank you very much for sharing. I was very much looking forward to what other folks have to say on this. I am a naturally shy person, and I don't like to be the center of attention, so this is going to be a challenge for me.

I think I probably have the patience of a gnat too right now, at least. :)

Rachelle said...

I pray for that day too - when people are educated and there is no need to explain ourselves. Great post - thanks for sharing.

Misty said...

thank you for this!! i too have gotten those people who have praised me on parenting my little one or taking him out in public.... although i am always polite, i just want to say "HE'S MY SON, I'm his mom...what is so special about that :)!!!??"

this has been very interesting! i love to read the insight and experience and remind myself that i am not alone! :)

Pinkalicious said...

Thank you for sharing these times, Rhonda and AMEN to the last comment on your post! :)


cdlsva said...

Great post Rhonda!! You have such a great attitude :-) And I agree with your last statement...maybe someday!