Hanging separately

I took Nathan to the pediatric dentist to sign the pre-op papers for his dental surgery today. It's over an hour there, then the shuttle to the clinic, then the requisite wait. All to sign a SINGLE paper that, I swear, my husband could have signed when he was there last month. Perhaps it has to be signed within so many days of the surgery, but really! In this day of electronics, couldn't this be handled in a video conference? Or on the day of surgery?

There were 3 other families in the waiting area. One was a girl probably in her teens, in a wheelchair who had her mom, her dad (who texted the entire time) and her nurse with her. For a little girl with so many adults in attendance, she slept through the whole thing. Maybe she realized she had no chance against so many adults, or maybe she was tired from them wearing her out. Who knows? There were 2 other children there with their moms, but they don't figure much. We sat as far away from anybody as possible to minimize our impact.

Nathan did his usual screaming and wall-thumping. None lasted more than 5 seconds per event, because, as usual, I am on him like a fly on fly paper. Grabbing hands, shushing mouth. Using my iPhone and it's various accessories with flare. He won't use the ear plug things, so he was listening to Queen (I want to Ride My Bicycle) on less than half volume. However, his antics did earn him several glares from the teen's mom. Her dad, of course, ignored her, her nurse and us.

I am still irked about every stare I ever intercept. Actually, it's the glares. If I ever saw any interest that smacked of 'what the heck is that kid doing, he sure is interesting' I would be EDU-MOM. The SUPERhero with all the answers you ever wanted (and several you didn't, like why masturbation is awesome when done correctly--that would be IN PRIVATE, you perverts!)

But coming from this mom, who I am sure has interrupted her fair share of stares. Her fair share of ignorance. Her fair share of people with opinions she would like to shove down the throats of those who express them. I expected more from her. Perhaps a knowing smile, a reassuring grin.

So when we got to the deli afterwards, I was on guard. Everything went as usual (that would be me stopping Nathan from swigging from the salt and sugar dispensers, reaching behind the counter glass and choosing his cookie before his dinner, quieting his vocalizations and minimizing his thumping.) It was a casual place, and the folks behind the counter took him in stride. Which was pretty neat, because, even I admit, Nathan requires strangers to take pretty big strides.

Then the older couple (60s?) got there. Both glared sternly at us. Repeatedly.

Here's the lesson folks. I'll get to it because this has gone on long enough.

There are only seconds standing between you and those stares. All it takes is a small clot to your brain, an idiot turning into your path on your commute to work. And you are disabled. Perhaps you will be one of those folks who keeps vocalizing, keeps taking your clothes off. Perhaps you will be one of those who becomes aggressive towards family and can't be kept at home. Or, perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's your new grandbaby. Or even your own precious child. First you are devastated by the doctor's words. And then will come the stares. Of pity? Or the glares.

If we don't hang together, we will all hang separately. All of us. Because all of us will eventually be on the receiving end of those glares. And I want to be the one who stands up for you and smiles reassuringly.


  1. Wow, you brought me to tears. You are so right. *hugs*

  2. Why do people not realise this? Why are they not more tolerant? As you say you would certainly have expected more from this family x


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