May 25, 2016

A Wallflower

Yesterday, it got to me.

The stares.

All 283 of them.

I am not hypersensitive.  This is not the paranoia of a teen that thinks every one is looking at them, when in fact they are not. This is not an exaggeration. This is just a post driven by a weak moment of Special fatigue.

And staring is a reality in Special.

When new caregivers take Bridger for an outing and return home, the first thing they report to me is how they felt so stared at.

In a store, when my husband or other children are at the handlebars of Bridger's wheelchair and I am down the aisle blending in anonymously with other other shoppers, I watch others stare at him.

I have written about this before.

A comment I received was, "Why do I let it bother me."

My answer, I don't.

Nearly all of the time, I don't.

Except yesterday.  I did.

It just got old.

I was in the grocery store and from the minute I began lowering his chair down the lift from our van, the stares began.

Some stares are steady.  I stare back.  They smile warmly.  I smile warmly back.

Other stares were full on rubberneckers.  I rubbernecked back.

One man was staring so intently that he didn't watch where he was going and bumped into the stacks of wine bottles and caught the Chardonnay just before it crashed to the ground.

"Serves you right for staring," I whispered as I walked passed.

For the record, I don't care if children stare. They are curious.  They are absorbing something new.

It is the adults -- the ones that should have learned by now, that it is not polite.

It got to me yesterday.  I was tired of the stares.

Sometimes, I just want him to be a wallflower.

Because, to me, he blends in perfectly.

A great read to living the public life with a child in a wheelchair: