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A Little Different

This excerpt if from an article that I read yesterday, you can read the rest of it here,

Beth Hersom
I already have to teach my girls that some people are just mean and you cannot let it bother you. I already have to teach my girls that loving people who are mean is part of what it means to be Christian. I am trying to teach them that most people are good, and that is where you come in.

When I take my little girl out, we see all kinds of reactions, but the most natural, the most genuine, the most common, is the reaction we see from most kids. They look. Some are puzzled. Some worried. The most adventurous of them ask questions. Almost all of them are curious.

Staring is rude. Pointing is rude. You know this. You are embarrassed by your child because they are pointing or staring. You shush your child and pull them away quickly, and I know you are doing it to save my feelings, but my feelings are not so fragile and your action is doing real damage. You are teaching your child to be afraid of what they do not understand. I bet that most of you have short conversation about diversity and not staring later; you are good parents after all. I would like to challenge you to have the conversation right there. Put a smile on. Say hello. Introduce yourself and your child. I will introduce myself and my children. Your child will ask questions. Likely the same questions you would want to ask, but you feel rude highlighting the differences, even when they are obvious.

Here is the thing: kids categorize. They need your help, and maybe mind, to make sure Sarah gets into the right category. They ask questions to figure out how things fit in their world. When you don’t let them ask their “rude” questions, you confirm my daughter as “other.” Believe it or not, every kid I have met who was allowed to ask as many “rude” questions as they liked, learned in just minutes to see my daughter as I see her. She is just a kid.

She loves lollipops. She laughs at her granddad. She has favorite music. She is going to school this year. Her favorite color changes all the time. Today it was green. She has a younger sister and an older sister. Her favorite TV show is Veggie Tales. She is Daddy’s punkin and Mommy’s sweet pea. She will absolutely charm you with her wide, blue eyes.

I posted it because it hit home for me, I know what this child went through, and I know my parent’s know what she went through because they went through it as well.  It’s not easy living with a disability, or having people, point and stare at you.  Call you names, run away from you, back to their parent’s.  Though you live with it, you learn to understand that God made me this way for a reason and a purpose.  I hope that for those of you that read this article, and this blog, you will teach your kids, that someone that looks differently, or acts differently, or maybe even seems a little odd to them.  You will help them, and maybe even yourself, learn to realize what their potential is, and how much they can and actually will do in their lives, and that you will realize that although they may be different, that they are just someone else’s son or daughter.

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