There is nothing like the feeling of getting the green light to venture out. On top of this, our boy was walking. We were so proud of the incredible amount of work it had taken to get our boy on his own two feet. I wanted the doctor who said he would be a vegetable (yes, he said that) to see him, walking around the coffee shop as if he owned the place.
But some lady felt compelled to ruin the feeling by exclaiming very loudly "he walks like a drunken sailor!" amid the giggles of some onlookers. As you can imagine, I gave her the "Jessi Look of Death" and picked Jack up as we made our way out of the shop.
I could not believe she said that. If she only knew what it took to get our son to this point.
Later that day I needed to commiserate. I have found that our online support group has been a source of incredible wisdom. So on our Facebook page, I posted about the coffee shop lady and what she said. And friends, I learned a valuable lesson. There are those who were appalled. They said things like "I would have a hard time not slapping that woman!" and "I can't believe people have the audacity to say such things! Can't they mind their own business?"
Those comments validated my hurt.
But unfortunately, not everyone saw the situation for what it was. There were some who just did not get it and probably won't ever. Amid the support, I started to read excuse after excuse about why it was OK to say this to our son in the coffee shop. "People aren't trying to be rude" and my personal favorite, "It's just a term of endearment."
Unless you've been living under a rock, let me tell you, plainly, why this is NOT OK. Jack has cerebral palsy. It is not OK to point and comment about someone's disability. Would you go up to an adult with cerebral palsy and say "Hey! You walk like a drunken sailor!"
How is this any different?
The reason why I have not written about this is because it has taken me two years to understand this Excuses Mindset.
Unequivocally, there are some who are not willing to share this journey with you. There are those who are not interested in trying to understand. They will continue to make excuses for bad behavior, maybe because they are trying to give people the benefit of the doubt or maybe because they are ashamed of their own.
And you know what? That is OK. Let those people go. (but maybe/probably delete their comments)
Surround yourself with people who love and support you. With those who take the time to get it. Sure, spend time educating, but don't waste another moment worrying about those people hanging out on the sidelines.
You've got more important things to think about.