Friday, September 21, 2012
Crows in Bikinis
The other day when I wrote about taking Sophie to the beach I forgot to tell you about the little girl and boy who twirled merrily around a stand of rental surfboards and bicycles, the girl lifting her dress so her pink underwear showed, the boy stiff and uncoordinated, stomping as he circled. I forgot to tell you how I sat at a table at a cafe with Sophie in her wheelchair and fed her french fries. The twirling girl and boy tripped over toward us and when they saw Sophie, they stopped and stood, stock still and stared. Alliteration aside, they stared. And stared. Their eyes big. Their mother stood a few steps away, waiting in line to order, her eyes on her twirlers, their eyes on Sophie. Her eyes saw their eyes, yet they stared and she stood. Silent. I widened my eyes and smiled, said hello, encouraging, and they stared, still. Their mother, silent. I felt my eyes grow fearful and flat. They twirled away, their mother a crow in a black bikini , and I watched them as they crossed the sand, their grotesque dance, she hopped, they circled. They never looked back.
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the slings and arrows. so much to bear. the vast world has no idea what these moments feel like. i wish the children had simply smiled. i wish i could hug you and sophie. i wish.ReplyDelete
We've been getting so much more of that now that Daniel's a teenager. It makes his 16 yo sister furious. Like Angella said, a smile would've have made all the difference.ReplyDelete
Ick. I feel their eyes. Cold and bottomless.ReplyDelete
I HATE the stares. I really, really do.ReplyDelete
I was just remarking to a friend this morning that I still am struck by the lines and lines of children, being led out of their classrooms by their teachers, who turn their heads, continue walking with heads craned backwards, mouths hanging open, staring at Zoey, who just so sweetly keeps waving hi. With usually not even an acknowledgement, even from the teachers.
I hate the stares.
When my kids were little an did the staring thing I would introduce ourselves but I felt more than once that it pissed people off. For instance, one time my kids were staring at a deaf couple who spoke with their hands. I explained to my kids what they were doing and when I approached the lady she was miffed.ReplyDelete
Eizabeth, what should a parent do when their kids stare? I have done the "don't stare" and tried talking to the person or family but neither has worked. What would you like to see parents do when their children stare at Sophie?
I have never been offended by anyone who smiles and says hello to me or to Sophie. It's natural for children to stare, although uncomfortable when it goes on too long. When the parents KNOW and SEE their children staring and do absolutely nothing, there's really no excuse. It's just plain rude. I'll add, too, that the people you speak of -- who get pissed off when you clearly have good intentions are rude as well. Or perhaps they've become accustomed to rudeness and believe that everyone is like that.Delete
I'll also add that when I write about stuff like this, I'm really just an observer, stating what happens. I don't always have an intention to change things. There are some things that we all learn to "deal" with -- accept, even. Writing about them isn't so much to "help" them as it is to record those very real emotions and experiences as I see them --Delete
That woman is an asshole.ReplyDelete
Rude. Sad. Uncalled for. I am so sorry that this happened to you and Sophie. Those poor kids, being raised like that. UGH.ReplyDelete
I agree that writing is a great way to record and release those emotions. God bless you and your precious family.
Fear. Stark fear. The notion that if we, as parents lucky enough to have children without disabilities, acknowledge the disabilities of others we will somehow be inviting some sort of contagion into our lives as well.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry that so many people react in this way. I am glad that you are able to write and process it and educate in that way.
even though im appalled i am also mesmerized and so deeply moved by your writing. you. are. insanely talented girlfriend. InSANEly. and, i know this story well... different black crows in different bikinis, but the same story.ReplyDelete