Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Know What You Are But What Am I?

Lisa and Luke discussing Operation Smile's Three Little Bears on News 12
Today, my children had a half day of school so we went to lunch at a favorite little kids place we often go to.  It has open seating but there were no tables for four so we split up two and two.  After about 10 minutes my 9 year old came over crying and said "that kid is making fun of me."  My son has a disability and it isn't unusual for other kids to stare or say something but it is unusual for him to be so upset.  So I got up and picked up his and his brother's food to move them. My 8 year old said, "Why are we moving?"  I said loudly, 'Because a kid was making fun of your brother.'

The mother at the next table said it was her daughter but that, "she's only two and a half and I told her it was none of her business."  I hear this excuse a lot, as in he's only a kid so if he is rude or insensitive 'well he's only a kid.'   Given that logic I said, "Well it still hurts his feelings," and walked away (I'm no angel it's taken me years not to want to tell these types of people off).  She left the restaurant and then came back in much to my surprise, and asked me if her daughter could apologize. First time in 11 years a parent has ever done this.   And I'm talking 100's of times.   The girl apologized, I explained his condition and then I touched her arm and said thank you.

My son was hurt today but he touched someone in a very profound way. That mother taught her child empathy, that mother put herself in my shoes even if it was for one minute.  I don't really like fighting these battles everyday sometimes I just want to be anonymous but today, I hope that Mom thought about her kid and my kid and realized there was no difference.   She taught her daughter kindness and showed my son he mattered.

Xo, Lisa Lori

How to foster empathy for disabled kids by Lisa Lori on

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