Friday, September 10, 2010
How To Move Past Hypocrisy
When my family goes anywhere, we usually don’t go quietly or unnoticed. We’re not Kate Plus Eight, but everyone’s attention is usually diverted, at least for a short period, to my family. And, being someone who is more comfortable not being noticed, this situation has been quite an adjustment for me.
For the most part, I’ve moved past caring too much about the stares of strangers when we shop, go to the park, go to the movies, or other community activities. But there is something that still troubles me, and I don’t know what to do about it.
Because I am a single parent, where I go, so go my children. Tonight, a memorial service is being held for the recently deceased mother of one of my co-workers. My co-worker and I have been with the same employer for over 25 years now. I am expected to be present at the service and I want to be present. What I don’t want is for my family procession to take anything away from the decorum of the ceremony. And that’s just one example.
About every two months, all my co-workers get together at a local restaurant for dinner. Families are included, and very often attend. But my family is a little different than most – okay, a lot different. My co-workers don’t understand my children and don’t know how to interact with them. In fact, some are probably uncomfortable around my children.
My children and I should not have to spend our lives only moving in social circles of families like our own. While I love every moment I spend with my friends that have children with disabilities, and I am so grateful for their support, I really don't want to impose limits on my children.
I espouse inclusion to anyone who will listen. But here are situations where I could choose inclusion for my children, and I don’t. I guess that makes me a hypocrite. But how do I move past the uncomfortable feelings for others as well as for my family to get to that state of inclusion?