Sunday, July 12, 2009

The "not like us" talk...

Title is confusing huh?

Well, I took the boys down to the river for a walk tonight and of course, weird encounters seem to follow me where ever I go! :)

I was sitting on a bench letting the boys throw rocks in the river... cause they love to just throw rocks for some reason... and a man came walking by with a stroller. In the stroller was a handicapped person, not a child.

First, I have to jump on my soap box but I'll be off quickly. It really makes me sad when people are rude to handicapped persons. I once got into a fight with the kids at school for making fun of one of my handicapped friends. There is no reason to stare, gawk, whisper, or make fun of some one with a disability. Instead, we should all have compassion, or even just neutrality when encountering someone with a handicap or mental disabilities.

Anywhos... this man comes walking by and I say hi.... The boys are playing/watching from the side of the walk way. Zane says, "Is that a baby?" (mind you, he's 4!) The man says no, he's 23. Then he starts to talk to me about how he hates it when people stare at him and his child. How people don't know how to treat someone in his situation. I'm casually nodding my head and agreeing with him. The poor guy must have had people staring at him on this walk apparently. Zane then walks up and says hi to the handicapped man. His father stops and talks to the boys... tells them thank you for being nice to his son. Then.... much to my dismay... I hear Izeah say, "He looks DEAD!"

OH.MY.GOD.

Thankfully, I don't think the man heard cause Zane was busy saying hi and bye to his child. Thank you JESUS!

I figured it was the appropriate time to have "a talk" with Izeah about people different then us.

We talked about how fortunate we all are. We all have the use of our legs, our arms, our hands. We can all talk and our brains work.... We can throw rocks in the river while this man is pushed in his stroller, unable to communicate. We should never stare or say things that would hurt someone's feelings.

I think it went well :)

Totally random post. Guess I just feel blessed tonight that I am fully capable. I also feel so much compassion for that man. Taking care of his son. Some people would shuck that responsibility.... this man was so proudly walking his son along the beautiful Mississippi River, enjoying the sounds and smells of nature.

I only hope I can influence my children with the same attitude.... :)

3 comments:

Dad said...

"I only hope I can influence my children with the same attitude"

You have you always will my daughter. A very profound and interesting post.

Dad

kate said...

great post, dana. my boys were raised with special needs foster brothers and sisters...some terminally ill. we had many experiences like yours "from both sides of the wheelchair" so to speak.

izeah's question was perfectly acceptable, in my opinion. in order to raise adults comfortable with disabilities, we first have to teach our children that curiosity and interest in those with disabilities is not only acceptable, but desirable. i much preferred people to ask questions than to "look the other way". bless izeahs little heart. he SAW that man's son, and made a very reasonable observation for his age. most importantly, he acknowledged that young man's existance.

you are an amazing mom. i really admire you alot, and have no doubt you will nurture your kids to be compassionate adults.

Miles To Go Before I Sleep...... said...

Dad... thank you! :)

Kate... Thank you too for your comment :) I hadn't looked at it from that point of view about Izeah... I think I'm still shocked over Zane's "kiddy mouth" in May (my grandma passed away and we took him to the services and then later that night at the motel, he happened across an elderly lady... He looked up at her and said, "Hi grandma, YOU DEAD!"... oh boy!)

Thank you for the compliment as well! I enjoy reading your blog too... I keep forgetting to do that following thing tho! :)