Wednesday, June 13, 2007

the stares...the questions

We ran into the grocery store tonight and as soon as we entered, a teenager looked at Max and stated "one of his eyes is smaller than the other." I replied, "yes it is." She then said, "oh. well, he's cute."

She wasn't mean harm...and her follow up "cute" comment was kind. But it still is interesting to me how many stares and questions we get routinely from children and adults.

Personally, I think Maxwell is the most adorable, precious boy in the world, and I don't even see his "differences" anymore. But strangers sure do and they often let me know. It is amazing how many double take or triple take glances Max gets. Occasionally I have wanted to pull out the old standby, "take a picture, it'll last longer." Instead, I try and engage the person by saying "Max, can you wave hi?" Or "did you want to say hello to Max?" If they are genuinely interested, the conversation will go from there. Otherwise they will walk away.

I really am doing my best to not be hurt by it all. Quite frankly, I probably was guilty of the very same before Max. You want to look and discover what is going on. Yet you are afraid to ask questions, because you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

I don't really fault anyone for it...ok, sometimes I do because they are just rude. But all in all, I am learning to accept that people do see Max "differently" and this will be part of our life.

Perhaps when Max learns to communicate with the world, they will focus more on his beautiful spirit and incredible personality. Then they can see the true Max...the amazing miracle boy that I fall more and more in love with every day.


ellen charge said...

it is interesting how we r to others

Eva Nichole said...

I know the feeling but most of the time it becomes a great moment to info people about CHARGE. I had one lady who was just in aww and couldn't believe I could deal with all that and still have a smile on my face when I talk about it. If only more people understood its a miracle for us to have our kids and they are a special gift and not something we have to put up with everyday.
Crystal and Eva

Diane and Alex said...

Amy, hang in there. I had a daughter who had to wear braces from her waist down and special shoes that turned out, instead of the right way. I got so mad because of the stares and just plain being nosy, and not nice. I just wanted to "lash out" at them. However, I just asked if they wanted to say hi to her. I never got to hold her like a baby with all those braces. I cried every time we went out.

Hold your head up high and be proud. Your little boy is among the cutest, sweetest, most precious boys God ever put on this earth. Maxwell is here for a reason, and one of the reasons is to keep me encouraged and to keep smiling.

Maybe Alex and I need to come to Washington and whip a bunch of people silly. It upsets me the way people act. I am going through some tough times myself, but without you little chargers, I would be so depressed. You are so special and one day I hope to meet Maxwell.

Diane and Alex

Miss N Cedie said...

I agree with your mom, Max! You are adorable!!!

o, tell your mom that I posted pics of Cedie's garden that we were talking about yesterday!

Hugs, Kisses, & Love,


Kelly said...

i had a heated discussion the other day with a guy i work with. he told me a story about how he was "freaked out" when he went to shake someone's hand once, and found out the man's arm was much shorter than usual and he was missing fingers. my brother was born with CHARGE, and i argued with him til I was blue in the face about how i thought it was wonderful that the man overcame a disability and made that hand his "dominant" hand versus just trying to use his left instead. I waited until the end of the conversation to explain that my brother was disabled, and i was used to those stares and "whats wrong with him"s...boy, did he feel like a jerk. people don't understand, and you can't put your shoes on them. i like that you tell max to wave to them, it's a good way to politely engage someone who's curious, and turn away someone who's just being a jerk. my sisters and i started making it a game years ago. when we catch someone, adult or a child, staring rudely, we wait until they catch our eye and make a funny face at them. Max is a gorgeous, happy baby (toddler?!?! aah!). Big hugs to him!

Shannon and Carey said...

I am sorry this happens to you. I've learned that some people are really genuinely interested but sometimes "stupid" just comes out. I'm the type of person that would probably stop you and want to meet Max and just love on him! That's me. :)
Love all of us in Austin
Max, stop growing up so fast!!!