Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Funny video, a note on aging and my not so nice but oh so me, if you catch me on a bad day, moment ....

Love the summer. Love having the kids home. Love my kids period, but at some point, as the end of August approaches, my switch begins to flip and this comes to mind. ( Hit your refresh button if it doesn't show up right away.)





And I vividly remember, when this commercial came out. I was in Staples doing the crazy back to school supply shopping thing and I went to check out, struck up a conversation with the cashier, who just happened to be a man. A father.  I told him how funny I thought the new commercial was and immediately his facial expression changed and he looked at me, dead in the eyes and said, " I don't think it is funny at all. I love having my children home with me."

Alrighty then. Moving on.

So listen, please don't misunderstand me on this. I truly try to never lose sight, no pun intended once you finish this section but I promise you, I never lose sight of what a gift it is to live another day. Another year. Really I don't. But seriously, these fun little nuances of aging, are for the birds. And that is putting it mildly. Lots of them I could share but the one I am not digging lately is the needing to have reading glasses with me everywhere I go. Everywhere. Nothing like a hot pair of reading glasses to make you feel youthful and beautiful. Says the almost 48 year old. Seriously? 40-freaking-8?


Okay, finally, going to go out on a limb and share this little story with you. Some will be shaking their head and saying, something like, " Oh my gosh that was so not nice." And maybe, the truth be told, it wasn't. Others will read this, and I know for certain who some of the others will be, they will read this and know EXACTLY what came over me and prompted me to do what I did. I will set up the story with this darling picture of Zoey being pushed in her wheelchair by her niece.


Darling uh? And the thing is, when we are out and about,  Zoey is in her chair, tooling about this world, happy as a clam. Waving to everyone. Saying hi. Clueless that this world is filled with some naive and ignorant people. But we do our thing and lots of people smile and engage with us but lots do not. If I over hear children asking questions and saying things, I usually stop and get down to their level and introduce Zoey and let them ask questions. Hoping that the next time they encounter a person in a chair or anyone that is seemingly different then they are, that they are not as uncomfortable. Children, I usually cut slack. Usually.

That is unless I am cranky and lately I have been cranky. Or maybe it is more this.


Hard to say. But the other day I was, um, cranky. And in Target, which ordinarily would not make me cranky cuz everyone loves Target, right? But there I was, cranky and ready to check out, and I step into a line with a woman and her daughter in front of me. The daughter was say 6 or 7. Well, we roll up and this is the demeanor that suddenly comes over the little girl. Or close to it.

She was wringing her hands together. Mouth hanging open. Backing up slowly. Zoey says hi and the child retreats further. And so I do what any good mother would do ... I inch Zoey and her wheelchair closer to the girl. She backs up, almost shaking, fingers in the mouth, eyes darting like a caged animal and I, I continue to inch closer. We did this dance for a few minutes until she was able to squeeze behind her mom and hide for good. Oh and I need to add that never, not once did the little girl and I make eye contact. Her eyes remained transfixed only on Zoey. Only on sweet Zoey.

I mean really. Does Zoey look like a monster? Scary in anyway?  I know she has some pretty extensive involuntary neurological movements that are odd looking to some, I get that but I know, even without Zoey in our lives, my children would not have acted over the top like that. I really do.

In that moment. In that cranky moment I was just so not in the mood to educate and advocate and cut someone, even a child, slack. I warned you didn't I? Kinda mean but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Lately, especially for me.

22 comments:

Stephanie said...

I'm freaking dying! Would have done the same thing! And i confess i have growled at a child or two that just got under my skin in the store. Sometimes you just gotta!!

Karol said...

Heeheehee. I love it. Someday I will tell you some of the not so nice things I've done in my days. Better yet.......I'll tell you some of the things my children have done to those who dare to snear or tremble at the sight of my son.

Anna said...

Let me just say, I prolly would have pulled out the B card too. I don't know if it's the fibro speaking, or pre menopause or a combination but mild mannered me has not been herself. Part of me wants to blame the other parents, kids learn from example. ( and about the glasses thing, yeah, at 42 I was diag with a cataract thanks to asthma meds all my life. I am so blind I cannot even read the E on the chart)

Angi said...

I get it, and if either of my children acted that way (even at 3 and 6...) I address it...my 3yr old did something similar in a hair salon back in March...I made a point of getting down and chatting with this cute little 5? 6? yr old in a wheel chair...my daughter eventually mimicked my behavior and I talked with her after as well (at 3 she hasn't come in contact with a person in a wheelchair!)
You of all people have every right to be snippy when necessary!! <3

Catherine said...

Aw, I wish you hadn't also. Who knows what challenges that little girl has.

It's a great challenge, trying to teach the general population, sometimes one person at a time that those very different are not so different after all and are loved and can love just like anyone else. When you can feel this way about a child, how do you think a child can feel about something that scares her? Better she remember these encounters as something positive, not scary and threatening.

Kristin said...

I feel the same way as the dad in the advertisement! I got the date wrong and thought Max started back today, but no, not for two more weeks. Kinda bummed me out ;)

Elizabeth said...

Well, you know I terrorize small children who stare openly at Sophie all the time, so I think you're perfectly reasonable.

And those glasses are cute! I, too, am sort of stunned by how quickly that needing reading glasses comes. Like literally overnight and getting worse and worse. I've always been horribly near-sighted, but now it feels like I'm going blind. Soon, I imagine, since I'm turning 49 on Monday, I'll need one of those ear-horns, too.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, and I LOVE that Staples ad, too.

blogzilly said...

Running over children with carts at the store and posting photos of your upper body focusing right on..well, you know...

I guess it IS true...women do get a little wilder when they get a wee bit older! WOO-HOO!

Shelly Turpin said...

Oh Heather, your posts lately, there is a sadness undercurrent. An "I'm dealing the best I can with it" undercurrent. I wish I could hit pause for your world for a bit and let you run and play on the beach till your wounds were healed and your cup was full again. I am always amazed by what we can just keep moving through. Wish you didn't have to just keep moving. Wish you could fly. Hugs to you my friend. Wish I could do more.

Reagan Leigh said...

Oh please!!! I've been known to make scary faces at staring children (regardless of whether or not Reagan was with me)!! And most of the time I want to say to them, "WHAT are you lookng at?!?!?" I'm not sure if I ever have, but it sure sounds like something I would do. But then again my middle name is B!! Sorry Catherine if Zoey and her wheelchair traumatized that poor NORMAL healthy child! I bet she's scarred for life!! Or maybe she's learned not to stare at people, unless you want to get run over by a wheelchair!! Lol!!

Lacey said...

I was going to say exactly what Shelly said. I sense something underneath it all. I haven't talked to you in months. It seems I may need to jump in my car and just take a trip up to Camarillo!
Oh, and on the Target thing, yes, we should educate, and not judge, because we don't know what the little girl thinks, blah blah blah! But we deal with this everyday, and there are some days when we just can't be nice. Some days we clench our teeth from saying something we know we will regret later. It just happens, and I think we deserve those days after all we go through!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'll leave it at that..

Bluebelle

Rochelle said...

Love you even on your cranky days! Still giggling though. Maybe next time that little girl won't stare!

Bea Braun said...

Since last year I now have to wear glasses to read mostly everything. I have glasses everywhere, everywhere. Multiple pairs in the same place, and for the love of pete, I can never find them when I need them. I may have to put one of those cute little chains around my neck...lol! Marcus is back to school and I'm back to work and I miss summer :( Maybe you can squeeze another one or two beach days out of the last 2 weeks.

My question about Target: what was the mother of this child doing? Because first of all Zoey is the cutest kid ever and any adult would just get down to her level and say hello. So perhaps like mother like daughter? Too bad, truly their loss, because an interaction with Zoey would have made their day!

Marisa DeGenaro said...

Heather,
You are totally entitled to a bitchy day! Sometimes you just get dang tired of being so together! What was the mother doing? How did she not respond to her terrorized kid? And how ridiculous that sweet little Zoey could actually scare anyone! I'm getting bitchy now just thinking about it!

Jamie said...

once I was at Pier One with madie shopping for more things I dont need and madie was hootin her noises and pointing her toes at all the breakables and some little boy kept asking his mom what the doggie noise was and where was the doggie...finally his mom spotted us and I said no its just my madie and she is disabled... She was a little taken back and said sorry and scooted off...he son later found madie minutes later and just stood in front of her and stared at her... I just kinda wheeled away...I just wished the mom would have been a little better...what can ya do?? *sigh* I just take the kid menus and crayons at resturants too....lol

Rachel Douglas said...

Oh I know this so well too. Now that Gabriel has to use a wheelchair or a walker it IS a different world. He also has a Ted hose and a cast at the moment. Soon to have his back brace again. When I was a little girl I always wanted to be the center of attention...... you know the old saying. I always stop the stare even if I have to physically get in front of Gabriel to block it. Then I either smile or give the one eyebrow raised look. Then I tell myself the stares are because we are so good looking. Yep, that's it.

colleen said...

I remember after my mom died i was impatient, irritable, vulnerable and acutely aware of being very, very mortal. All seem to be themes in this post. I can only imagine how having six children.. one with special needs must compound these feelings of grief. Go easy on yourself and I will pray that the "world" follows suit! Thanks for a truly honest post... I for one and am glad you went out on that limb.

Becca said...

Cracking up...first of all, I LOVED that Staples commercial. I was in hysterics when I saw it on TV. But dude, that guy at the check-out needs a serious humor infusion. *Not* very good customer service if he's alienating the people in his line like that... Second, your reaction to the child's reaction to Zoey---priceless! I've been known to give the evil eye to kids. Shuts them right up. I mean, are you really going to engage someone else's child in a verbal lesson about Zoey's challenges/similarities, etc. without it being instigated by the child's parent? Not likely. So you had the next best answer. LOL

Barbara @therextras said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, Heather. You are not responsible for educating the whole world on acceptance of disability - are you? (Thought that was my job...;) -which I am wholly imperfect at.)

If the other child's reaction seemed extreme, well, perhaps she herself has a diagnosis...perhaps not talking to her was the best course in the moment.

Melissa said...

Some days it just kind of makes you feel better to be bitchy! I too wondered what the other kids mom was doing? Sounds like the mom wasn't too helpful either and that makes it harder to do any sort of educating....if you even felt like it. And some days I know I just don't!