Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's OK

I just need to take a moment to get something off my mind that has been bothering me. As a Mother of a nine-year-old, I am all too aware of the embarrassing situations in which you can end up in thanks to your child. I can remember several situations where I would have loved nothing more than for the floor to open up and swallow me whole!
We have encountered a few situations recently where children have made comments or asked questions about Addie and their parents just don't know how to respond. Keep in mind, if I am close enough to hear what children say, I am also close enough to hear how the parent responds! It is OK to talk about Addie when I am within hearing distance. It is OK to tell a child that Addie may look a little different than they are. It is OK to answer a child when they ask "what's wrong with her?". It is OK to let me talk to a child about Addie. It is OK to be honest. It is not OK to ignore a child when they ask questions or make a comment. That is extremely hurtful to my family.
I can't figure out if people associate "shame" or embarrassment to having a special needs baby, but if they do, they are so very wrong! Addie has taught me more about this world than anyone ever could and I am so very proud of who she is. Please talk to the children in your life and be honest with them. I have a standard statement that I use when I talk to children about Addie and it is very straight forward and matter of fact.
It is OK that she is different and it is OK to acknowledge that.


Aunt Nonna (Rhonda) said...

You could not have said it any better Jenn. It is OK!!