Saturday night was the last Challenger baseball game of the season and my guys thoroughly enjoyed themselves in the dug out. Yep, they had two Sarasota Reds players at their beckon call and what did they do? Hang out in the dug out and play with an old fashioned phone. Just because they have some almost major league player helping them, why should they do anything different than usual?
So what does this have to do with moving to a deserted island? Well, after the game, we headed to Bayfront Park and looked at boats and eventually ended up on a very crowded playground.
Zach and Ryan immediately started climbing and having a grand 'ole time. At one point, Zach stopped near this climbing thing-a-ma-jig (really, that's what it is called) and this kid pushed past him. Zach stopped, stared at him and then kept playing. I looked at Mark and asked him, "Do you think Zach knows he is different and do you think he cares?"
Mark and I decided that yes he probably knows he is different but probably doesn't care yet. But at some point, he is going to care and his feelings are going to be hurt and this crushes me. I know every child gets teased and made fun of, for some reason this really bothered me and made me want to cry.
So here I am at this crowded playground getting all upset about something that has happened yet, but is bound to happen. Not to mention, happen to every child on the face of the earth. I worry that is going to happen more often and more meanly to Zach and Ryan. I pray that it doesn't, but how do you explain that to your kids - especially when they are going to live with their disabilities forever? How do you reassure them when you want to go after the kid who said it?
Even grown ups tease them. Just yesterday at church someone saw Ryan in the goober hat and said some comment about being in the militia. I took the high road and ignored it, but I wanted to go up to him and have a few words. I know they would not have come out in love, so I pretended not hear it. I know he was trying to be funny, but it wasn't...
I think the hardest part of having two "special needs" kids is not being able to protect them from the extra teasing, stares, and thoughtless comments they will certainly endure. I can live with the not talking, the eating 3 things only, the poor walking, the falling all the time, the seizures, and autistic like actions. But I can't live with people being mean to my kids and "not getting it." It's like I told a bunch of kids at church, I don't expect you to be best friends with Zach and Ryan, but I expect you to be kind.
Since I can't bring civility to everyone my kids encounter, I've come up with a fool-proof plan... My solution is this... move to a deserted island. Anyone have one we can borrow?