I won’t tell you to tell your kid to stop staring at my kid. Maybe I should, but I won’t. Aidan is very obviously different than his peers, and kids by nature are curious.
We in Disability World can sometimes be quick to think that staring implies negative thoughts which may sound like, “Mommy, what’s wrong with that boy?” Ok, so that’s awkward, but the truth is, something is wrong with Aidan. His brain doesn’t work. He’s more than just different or unique. His body has to work so hard to get around and he doesn’t learn as quickly as your kid and there are opportunities he’s missing out on in life because of his body. Aidan isn’t bad or less than and I’m going to believe that’s not what you mean by wrong. I’m also going to work hard to give you different words to talk about my son.
I won’t tell you to tell your kid to stop staring at my kid because sometimes you have a perfect response to the moment. Aidan was driving around his favorite store last week when he doubled back to follow the gaze of a young child in a shopping cart. Your child was watching closely as Aidan drove right up to him. “He came back to say hi to you, Sweetie. Wasn’t that nice?” No shame for the staring and no strange explanation. You were modeling to your child that Aidan is so much more than a kid in a wheelchair. Thank-you.
I won’t tell you to tell your kid to stop staring at my kid because I could miss his wise observation. Your kid stared at my kid and instead of seeing a child who drools too much or makes strange noises he saw Aidan’s smile. Your son asked you, not what was wrong with Aidan, but “Why is he always so happy?”
Yes, indeed. Aidan is so very happy, even with his broken little body.