Dear lady in Wal-Mart. I saw you. And I saw your son.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Last Saturday afternoon I made a quick run to the Wal Marks to get a few things we needed around the house (wine. I needed wine ok?).

I was in a mad rush because Baby Zee was sick, and when he is sick I can't get very far away or be gone for very long.

As I rushed from aisle to aisle (I did get a few things other than wine) I noticed a woman. She was tall and wearing heels and looked super fancy and dressed up for a Saturday. Then I noticed what she had in her cart.

I would guess he was between 16 and 18 years old (I am really bad at age guessing so that could be way off). He was sitting in the grocery cart and his mom was piling her things on him and in his lap as she shopped. He was very happily playing with a little plastic toy. He had beautiful brown skin and perfect almond shaped eyes.

My first instinct was to catch up with the mom and say "Hey! I have one too! Actually I have two! They are babies but still! Isn't the Down syndrome club great?" or something super cheesy along those lines. I wish we could have ID bracelets or some sort of visible indication that we are in "the club" so we don't have to do the awkward "I have one too" conversation.

As I walked behind her in the Saturday Wal Marks main aisle traffic jam fully intent on catching up with her and attempting to say something non awkward I noticed something.

As people came towards her, within a split second they would notice that she had an adult sized person in her cart. Then they would see (or I guess assume) that he had special needs. Then they would immediately look away as if they were thinking

"Oh crap. Her son has special needs. I don't want her to think I am staring at her.... or him I am going to quickly pretend I am looking at these lovely tomatoes. Look at me...looking at the tomatoes....not staring at you. Whew."

The people kept coming, and they kept doing the awkward looking away. Each and every one of them.

And then I did something dumb. I checked out and I left. I really regret not speaking to her.

She might not give the slightest crap that people were avoiding making eye contact with her. She probably is used to it or doesn't even notice it in the first place. But I still would have felt better if I had spoken to her, or at least made eye contact and smiled at her.

Guys, there are lot of people in our world who are different. Families who have adopted a child of another race. Families who have kids with special needs. Families that are big. Families that have kids with obvious medical issues. Let me clue you in on something:

You don't have to avoid seeing them. They already know they are different....and they are ok with it.

As if your making eye contact with them or their children would make them say

"that man just gave me a polite smile....holy crap balls honey did you ever notice before now that this kid we adopted is black!!???"

See people. Just like you see everyone else. No one wants to feel invisible.

Thanks for letting me share,

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