Monday, December 27, 2010
The question that still hurts
Vacation is mostly a great escape for me. Our days are free of routines, there's someone picking up very plush towels off the floor and making the beds, we eat out for our meals, I'm not playing Julie the Cruise Director of Max's therapies, I can sit in a hotel lobby and listen to a piano player (as I am now). But vacation can be an unwanted reality check, too; away from all our friends and family, it becomes very clear how some people view Max. Especially kids. More than once here, a child has looked at Max and asked, "Is he a baby?" I'll usually say something like, "He's eight! He just doesn't talk like you do." Sometimes I'll add, "He loves chocolate ice-cream! Do you?" which usually works as an ice-breaker.
I've developed a thicker skin over the years about this stuff. Yet the comments from children continue to prick me. I wish they didn't, but they do.
It's strange: Out of everything I've gotten past about Max's stroke and the cerebral palsy, this is one of the few things that still pains me. Or, well, maybe it's not so strange that it should bother me when another child can't immediately see my boy for who he is: an awesome kid.