Thursday, September 1, 2011
"What's Wrong with Him?"
I often struggle with how much I should tell someone about Aidan, especially someone that I don't know. Sometimes I feel like if I don't say anything or explain his condition, then I think that I might appear ashamed or bitter, which I absolutely am not. On the other hand, I feel like if I take the chance to explain, it's my chance to rather educate and enlighten the person. It's sort of my chance to let the person know that Aidan is not anything to be afraid of, and while he looks different and cannot talk, he understands when being spoken to and likes many of the things that typical kids like. Very early on, a wise pediatrician once told me that I was going to be Aidan's biggest advocate in his life. I've come to accept that role wholeheartedly and truly try to live it outward on a daily basis. That is one of the reasons why I write this blog.
Most of the time, I am sure that well-meaning strangers do not intend to be offensive with their remarks. But, sometimes I can't help but get annoyed or let an innocent comment get under my skin. Once, when Aidan and I were waiting for a doctor's appointment, an elderly couple had observed Aidan and I waiting. And I heard the elderly woman comment to her husband how such a shame it was that Aidan was the way he was because he was so handsome; kind of implying that his good looks were being wasted on him because he was disabled. I wanted to reach over and slap that old woman across the face! Not only did it offend me but, it just deeply hurt me too. But, I can't say that I would feel good about decking an old lady. Needless to say, I did not say anything to that lady, since she wasn't talking directly to me. But, I know that those types of comments, remarks and probably worse incidences will continue to happen in the future. I just think that there is an appropriate time and place to educate and be constructive. It'll continue to be a learn-as-you-go thing.