Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To ask or not to ask . . .

I am a fairly open person.  I have no issues with chatting with someone in the grocery or educating someone one my child's issues.  As long as I think the person is being respectful and kind, I have problem with someone asking what the heck is different about my family or my kid. 

The other day, I read a post by Michelle about this very same thing.  Her darling Tori, is battling Neurofibromatosis and is currently undergoing chemo to shrink the size of the tumors in her brain.  Tori is an amazingly resilient child who loves her bald head and thinks she is a beautiful child regardless of her differences right now.  Part of that is likely because she has an amazing mama who will constantly fight for her and her differences, and partly because of her own personality. 

Michelle says, "I don't blame people for being curious. After all, she looks like a very happy little girl when she is skipping through the aisles of the store in her little dress. But she is very tiny, she has a huge red scar on the back of her little head and she is bald. Sometimes she looks very sick. Sometimes she is wearing a mask. I understand why they are curious."  Please go visit Tori's blog and give her some positive encouragement, some love and some prayers!  She is quite the amazing child.  I promise you will laugh at her  "Stop showing your boobs" campaign for Dancing With The Stars contestants.

Yesterday, I read a post by NieNie where she was asked in Jamba Juice what happened to her. She was distraught over this question.  In my personal view, I think the man was being respectful and wanted to teach his daughter that although people look different, we are all the same.  I am by no means suggesting that how she feels is wrong, she is entitled to her own feelings, and I respect that.  It just showed me that what some people think is ok, other people may not.

I am always willing to share Dustin's story with others.  I have grown so much from having a child like Dustin in my family.  I used to be quite judgmental of children that could not act appropriately in public and mostly blamed the parents for their children's behaviors.  Now, I am well aware that children's behaviors may not in fact be the parent's inability to parent even if the children seem completely typical.  I am much more patient and much more understanding.  I can remember a particular instance where my family was dining in a hotel restaurant when my kids were quite young.   Dustin was acting a fool and a family that was seated right next to us kept looking over.  At one point, Robert took Dustin out of the restaurant.  The mom came over and said, "I don't want you to think I am condemning you, I am a foster parent and I can see your child has impulse control issues.  Please don't think it bothers us."  I was so grateful for her actions. 

I think that most people mean well.  Or at least, it helps me to think that they do!  I try my best to think the best of people until I am proven wrong.  I think advocacy and educating people are always the best policy for my family.  But, I also understand that others are not so open about their issues and I respect that also.

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