Forever a small fish in a big pond

Tuesday 6 February 2018

To the parent who pulled their child away from me....

To the parent who just pulled their child away...

No need to hush them, I already heard them ask you "what's wrong with that girl". I already saw them stare and I've already seen you pull them away in embarrassment. You hope I don't hear you, but I do, you hope I don't see you but I do... You're worrying I'll think badly of your parenting for having a child intrigued in my difference... I won't. You worry that I'll remember you, that I'll remember what you told them as you pulled them away from me, I won't..... However, your child will.

Your child will remember you telling them to be quiet, they'll remember how you told them to stay away from 'that girl'. They'll remember your embarrassment when they wanted to talk to me..... They'll remember never finding out what was "wrong" with that girl because you were too embarrassed to tell them... Maybe you don't even know yourself- don't worry I won't judge you for that either... I won't judge you for the decisions you made... but because of those decisions, your child will now judge me. Your child will now know, no different than to stare, to laugh, yet to stay away, because they'll remember that that's what they were told to do.

Let me paint you a different picture...

Your child asks the question, you don't have the answers... But I do. You think I'll mind- I won't. Be embarrassed maybe?- I won't. You're worried about what your child might ask, but believe me I've heard it all before!... So you let them, you let them ask, you let them be intrigued, you let them learn that my difference is nothing to be hidden away from nor to be embarrassed of. You walk away. I might not remember our conversation... However, your child will, they'll remember coming up to me, talking to me, perhaps even liking me. They'll remember that you taught them to ask not to stare and that there was in fact nothing wrong with that girl. They'll grow up being accepting of disabilities and differences because they'll remember they were told to be.

Which one of those scenarios would you want your child to remember? Which parent would you want to be? If I was to remember you, would you really want me to refer to you as the parent who pulled their child away?

You think that it won't matter- it will. You think it won't have a long term impact- well guess what? It will. Please don't be responsible for giving me another ignorant adult to deal with years down the line... Please don't be responsible for giving me someone who pulls their child away from me because they remember that their parent did the same to them.

You think your decision won't make a difference- but it will.


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