Ducky Diaries: "He's a cripple."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"He's a cripple."

I'm no stranger to the stares of adults when they realize my son is different.  I'm even less of a stranger to children pointing and asking questions about Bear, it's a natural occurrence.  I understand. He's different, unique, we desire to know why.  Children especially.

However, today something happened that I was a stranger to.

Today, my son, was called a cripple.  My three year old.  My flesh and blood, the part of my heart that beats outside of my body and I was dumbfounded. 

Legitimately.

The whole scene folded out like a freak accident.  I just froze.  And thought, "Did that really just happen?".

It did. 

As my sister in law and I perused the aisles of a local thrift store, I got a bit ahead of her while looking at clothing when I noticed a familiar sight. 

A little girl no more than 6 years old was pointing at Bear and saying "Look" very quietly to her mother.  I smiled at her, Bear smiled at her.  We kept going forward.  

That's when I heard it, and felt it, like thunder beneath my feet and above my head at the same time.

"He's a cripple."

At first I thought I'd heard wrong.  I had to have heard wrong. 

What mother uses such a horrid term to describe a disabled child?

How does one teach such hate to her own child instead of using the moment to teach humanity, acceptance, tolerance, or love for fellow people?

"He's a CRIPPLE."

I just kept walking. My heart hurt. My mind was stuck between anger, shock, and sadness. I wanted to hug her daughter and talk to her about my son's disabilities and introduce them.  I wanted to turn around and scream at her mother. This stranger, who made me feel such deep emotions. I wanted to slap her across the face.

"HE'S A CRIPPLE."

I did none of those things.  I left her ignorance behind me, in the same place she chose to vomit such hate.  I kept walking. Grateful for the fact that my child does not know the word "cripple" among other words used to tear others down.  Grateful that I have taught and continue to teach my son that differences are beautiful.  Grateful that I teach my daughter acceptance, tolerance and above all else, love.

**************

I muttered a " Fuck you, hag!" and told Bear that his light up wheel's are the coolest thing mommy has ever seen, as we continued shopping. 

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