Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Do NOT Pity Me
Following our normal post-Thanksgiving tradition, the kids and I headed out pretty early last Friday for some Black Friday shopping. I love finding deals, but I also love the experience of moving along with a crazed crowd searching for an item that you know will cost less after the first of the year.
I wrote last year about our Black Friday experience and the problems we had navigating some stores with a wheelchair. It was interesting to me that this year things were a little easier. I wonder if all those store managers read my blog?
Since the navigating part of our Black Friday experience was easier this year, I was able to spend sometime people-watching. I saw lots of different ‘looks’ on the shopper’s faces – worry, excitement, the thrill of the hunt – but I also saw something that bothered me. I saw pity and sadness whenever a shopper would look at me pushing Ashley through the store.
Over the years, I have learned to deal with people feeling sorry for Ashley. I usually scoff a bit and enlighten them on some of Ashley’s antics. I share how she is much more like her peers than different, and it usually works. People would walk away with a good bit of the pity look wiped off their face. But this time the pity seemed directed at me.
It hit me pretty hard. Do people feel sorry for me that I have a daughter in a wheelchair? Do they believe my life is less than good because of that? Do they think I have regrets and dream about the child Ashley could have been had her birthmother not been an alcoholic?
I wish all those people with their pitying looks could read this blog. I wish they could understand that my life is complete, not unfulfilled, because I have a child with a significant disability. I wish they could spend a day with us and see that we are a joyful and more typical family than they think. I wish I could tell them that I am happier then I ever dreamed possible BECAUSE I have a child with a disability.
Here’s hoping some of them will read this blog, and will then understand.
Today I am thankful that Ashley's birthmother agreed to place her for adoption