Sophie and I walked up to the big outdoor mall in our neighborhood, bought some tee-shirts for her at Nordstrom, went to the bookstore to buy a copy of The Boy in the Moon for The Husband and ate lunch at a little Spanish tapas bar. We had Tortilla Espanola (Spanish omelet with potatoes and onion) and Huevo Estrellado (two eggs fried with jamon serrano on top of french fries). We then walked back through the mall and home. There's a certain bravado one must fake when making one's way through crowds with a handicapped child. I keep a pleasant smile on my face and hope that my eyes express a variety of thoughts, according to the facial expressions of those who are staring. For the clearly uncomfortable but probably perfectly nice there's my don't worry, we're actually fine living like this and yes, you should be glad that your daughter did not begin seizing when she was three months old for no apparent reason look. For the quick look and then averted gaze with a concomitant trot around us, there's my yes, yes, run, run as fast as you can, I won't catch you, little gingerbread man look. For the soulful stare there's my she is beautiful, isn't she, and thank you for noticing look. For the outright rude stare that goes on entirely too long, especially given that the starer is an adolescent girl who should know better, there's my you know what, you little bitch? You're actually as awkward looking if not more so than she is completely unapologetically and uncharitable stare-you-right-down look.
I did have what I think is a brilliant idea, though -- a discreet camera tucked onto Sophie's person somewhere to record the various faces and stares. It could be called The Handicapped Stare Steadi-Cam.