Last week at Matthew’s baseball game, I was pushing Olivia in her stroller/wheelchair around the corner to get situated at the game. The previous game was just getting over and the boys were milling around getting medals and pictures as it was the last game of the season. Catching me completely off guard, a boy pointed at Olivia in front of all of his teammates and their parents and shouted “OH MY GOD! LOOK AT HER!” and then laughed. The boys joined in.
I couldn’t believe it.
I gave him a death glare and shouted back “WELL, THAT WAS RUDE!” and got us situated. The boys and their families were still milling around and not one of the parents said a word to that boy or to me. I was so angry I was seeing red and shaking. I said to Olivia, very loudly: “Look at you! Can you believe how beautiful my girl is?” Because you know what? She can hear and she has feelings.
Honestly, I was devastated. My heart hurt. Thank God this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often. But the stares happen constantly. And that is exactly why it’s important to spread awareness.
People need to know that those with disabilities are just…people. Different isn’t bad. Different is beautiful and sweet and funny and kind and the purest soul you’ll ever meet. Different is the best damn girl you’ll ever have the privilege to know. When we spread awareness, we hopefully help people realize all of these things.
I sometimes feel like I don’t do enough to spread awareness. But I do what I can. I’m having my 6th annual golf outing on August 10th for Olivia and Cri du Chat Syndrome. If you would be interested in helping in any way, please let me know! And if you can spread awareness in your own way, please do!