I knew when Olivia was diagnosed that there would be stares. I prepared myself for it.
But can you ever really prepare yourself for when people look at your child like she’s a freak?
I don’t think you can.
When she was little, people would comment on how tiny she was or how she sounded like a cat. It drove me nuts. But they weren’t staring.
Now they do.
The other day I mentioned on Facebook that some girls were staring at Olivia. We were at a Brownies event with another troop from another town. The woman in charge of our “education class” was very stern and didn’t welcome chit-chat or anything, so I wasn’t able to really talk to the girls to explain Olivia’s behavior. I also wasn’t aware that we would be hiking so I ended up caring her around for an hour (my biceps were SO mad at me the next day!). Of course the girls stared…when was the last time they were carried around like that, right? Every time she’d talk, they’d look too. She does have a high-pitched voice, but still. She also kept knocking over the markers and scissors.
But do they really have to stare?
I sat there fuming. I know I shouldn’t have been mad at these little girls who were probably just more curious than anything…but I don’t like it when they stare. So instead of being mad, I imagined what I would say to them in my head. It made it a little better. But I just felt awful. I just want her to be accepted everywhere she goes. At her own school, with the people who know her, she’s completely accepted for who she is. But other places? Not always. It breaks my heart. Can you tell I needed a giant glass of wine that night?
I would hope that parents would talk to their kids about how people are different and that you shouldn’t stare or point…no matter what they see.
In the meantime, I’m just going to pretend that everyone’s staring at her adorable outfit, her gorgeous brown hair or her stellar smile.