family pic

family pic

Thursday, November 11, 2010

i hate the mall! is that sad?

So i cant help myself but blog about this. I guess because its a good lesson even for me, i seem to have the privileged of learning it over and over again, experiencing it from a unique perspective.

A few days ago i ran into the mall to rent storie her seasonal board and drop off ink for a refill. I very rarely go to the mall. I hate the mall, for a number of reasons but we wont go there today. I forgot to go back and get the ink when we were done. So i bet you can imagine how mad i was when i realized this, nothing worse then going BACK to the mall!

Last night after storie's meet we were all starving, and the boys were at wrestling. so i just decided we would hit the food court since it was so close to the ink shop and pick up the ink and get dinner.

Again ... I hate the mall.

When we go in public, saylor is starred at by nearly everyone. Some people are discreet. others are not. The mall is somewhere i avoid for this very reason. Disney land is super hard! But even wrestling tournaments, swim meets, trafalga, what have you, pretty much anywhere that contains a lot of public. Over the years we have been the recipients of many comments, almost all of which in my opinion have a negative connotation, but many people dont realize they do. I hate the mall for this reason.

Saylor has only just begun to become aware. She is going through an interesting time as she becomes aware of her disability and her differences. She now can understand when someone says something what they mean, we no longer can shelter her, this makes it all the more hard. That being said, it has never been my intention to shelter her and to avoid public, i want her to be a participating part of the community and society. and a positive one at that!

Last night these two, i would say mid twenties, ladies were really staring at us. Like head following us kind of watching. Then one of them said very loudly "that is so sad!"

Now before i tell you how i couldnt restrain myself, here is the lesson .... I say things dumb all the time. We all do. I could use a little more discipline in thinking before i talk! When things like this happen it really reminds me that i need to think before i talk, but that i am human and so are they. I need to be more understanding and forgiving. I do as her parent understand how things look. That she is this gorgeous little tiny girl who seems incredible and her situation does seem sad, and i suppose sometimes it is. But thats not how we see it at all. Its hard but not sad! My perspective of the blessing of saylor is so positive not negative.

I usually have the restraint to not say anything, its kind of not my personality either. But emotionally i just couldnt help myself last night. Here is my question i pose to this statement that we often hear! People say this as they pass her by on a regular basis! I hear "that is so sad" or "how sad" or things of this nature often.

Is that how you want this child to perceive herself? Would that be positive and beneficial to her in her life and self esteem, self perspective? I dare say i hope that most of us would say NO! thus why this comment is so ridiculous.

So i turned around and loudly said to her, "its actually not sad at all" she was stunned! Eyes wide! She said then "its not?" i believe for lack of anything better to say! And i said "its really not!"

I dont know if she gets it ... But i hope my inability to restrain myself last night taught her a life lesson too! it did for me! once again, for the billionth time! I know it wont be the last.

next time think about the words you utter i challenge you!


THE O'BRIENS said...

I love you! And I'm glad you said something! And I think that you are very good with your words. I probably would have said something alot worse. P.S. I'm sorry you hate the mall. THAT makes me so sad! jk.

Brian Rogers said...

Perfect response Audie...

Anonymous said...

I hate the mall too, except for occasional trips to See's Candies. :-) People say, how sad too when they see Josh, mainly older children at school. I just smile and say he's not sad, so you shouldn't be either. He's alway very happy. To be quite honest he is the happiest kid in our family! And that's the truth. Way to go mom for sticking up for your precious girl.

Meilani said...

Audrey, you are so great. I love that I have you as a good example in my life. What would I do without you??? Lily just got her first wheelchair last week and I had my first taste of this exact thing at the Mall and at Chuck E. Cheese. In one scenario Lily didn't want to leave a store and she (for the first time) held fast to the tires so that I could not push her out without injuring her. After struggling to get control of the situation, I realized a small group of older women decided to stop what they were doing in the mall and just stare at us. They had no idea how grateful I was to see my daughter exert her independence in such a way! I was slightly annoyed that I couldn't control her every move for once, but also extremely proud and delighted. They couldn't understand that. They just saw me as a bad parent and her as a sad little thing. Anyway, I resolved the problem by giving her a piece of chocolate. It worked perfecty! :) I am sure that the onlookers were appalled. We should make a funny book of our stories (just give me a few years).

Kevon and Megan said...

"How sad" that people are so ignorant. Saylor is a beautiful, happy girl, not sad at all. Don't feel bad for what you said, maybe you made the girls realize they need to think before they speak and hopefully you gave them a new perspective. You're awesome! Love you...

Anonymous said...

No, she likely didn't get it. In fact, she's still probably wondering why you responded the way you did. But... Saylor probably gained a lot from your reaction! :)

I love you!

Amber Schmidt said...

I feel ya. Kyleigh is finally getting to the point where she is realizing that she is "different" and although most of her issues are internal it doesn't make it any better. At our first dance class a mother informed me that I had left the security tag on her leotard... I looked and when I did not see it she blurted out loudly, "that thing right there in the front... on her stomach..." It instantly hit me and my face burned a bit because it NEVER occurred to me that it was her mickey button - feeding tube port- I just thought I had really left a tag on! Then the mother proceeded to tell me how I might want to take that out for dance class since she was in a leotard and that could be offensive and scary to the other girls. Ummm, whatever lady. I must have looked at her like an idiot as I said "umm that cost $35,000 to install... don't think I will be removing it any time soon". She never sat at my table again! LOL