Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Four Walls

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There are four walls. Four walls that create our home. Four walls that have created a safe haven and a place that is a shelter for the three of us. Not just in a physical sense but in an emotional one.

The four walls have given me a perspective of Tyler that I wouldn't change. ( The perspective I wouldn't change, but I would make things easier for him. ) In these four walls we don't notice that he is different. In fact the only time we notice is when we leave the four walls. />
When we go places people look and people stare. At first I didn't notice or didn't want to notice. Every once in awhile the people who were staring would whisper or say things. Sometimes it was just curious questions and they were innocent. Sometimes they would be cruel and point and stare.

I became aware of words. Words like Retard, short bus, and slow. All those words that mean hateful, mean things. Things that we all laughed about at one point or used so casually we didn't think of the others around us. With the delays and the life we live we now those words affect us.

As Tyler is getting older we know he will be moving into a world where he is very different from his peers. He doesn't walk with a normal gait, his eyes don't look or work like others, and his talking is far from up to par. He has different actions than most and he sometimes acts MUCH younger than is "ancient" almost 5 years.

But the one thing he isn't is dumb.

He is aware that he can't do the things that other people do. They are harder for him. He wants to join in all by himself but he can't. He wants to be able to hop on a bike and pedal up the street. He wants to be able to chase a ball in the yard and throw it up. He wants to be able to all of those things.

I don't expect anyone to bend over backwards to include Tyler because I know that isn't going to happen. What I do expect is that you teach your children. Everyone is different. Not one person is "normal" or "regular." Some are smart, some wear glasses, some have red hair and some eat with a tube. Just because they are different than them they aren't bad, strange, weird, stupid or any other term you want to use.

In the four walls of our home he has only known people who accept him and love him and play with him. That is ALL he knows. He only knows love. He doesn't know hate. He doesn't know that he can't do something. He only knows that when he wants to try something someone is there to help him. There are no mean words.

Only people who love him remember to include him. They invite him to do things. They visit him when he is sick, they want to watch him. They learn his words, they take his pictures and they otherwise KNOW Tyler.

I can't make the four walls any bigger. I have to hope that other people have taught in their four walls that its OK to be different.

Out of the WHOLE experience today it made my heart hurt that I was not able to shelter him from hearing those words. That I was not sheltered from hearing those words. It made me sad that when I send him out into the world that I have failed to keep him safe.


Rochelle said...

I'm sorry you felt that way today, we are all doing our best to teach our children to accept everyone, and although words were said, I saw all the kids playing together, being mean to each other, being nice to each other, including each other, excluding each other, teasing each other, and just being kids, and I saw Tyler having a blast. It makes my blood boil when other kids are mean to my kids, I hate it. Nobody is perfect especially all the kids that were at my house today.

Miracles Happen said...

Oh Rochelle, tyler had a BLAST he always does. He never cares ( which is what I love) it is more my feelings more than anything. Which I know words are just words. Please dont' think I didn't appreciate all of the things that have been said and done. Tyler is not perfect, I am not perfect. I just wish I could shelter him from hearing and knowing what it all is. Which is something I can't do. I think that EVERY ONE of the parents there today teach their children. It just happens. I emotionally shut down when I hear more those things. I notice the difference in him when it is pointed out and I can't shelter him from it. It is such a learning process for everyone.

Tammy said...

No mother likes to hear people be mean to their kids. It doesn't matter if they can ride a bike, skip, jump, run or if they have red hair, blonde hair, dark skin or light skin. As a mother it hurts no matter what is said to your child when you know that it is hurtful. Every mother wishes that they could protect their child in some way from the outside world, but the best way that we can protect our child from the outside world is to let them know that they are loved here at home and no matter what anybody does or says that they are still loved no matter what. We teach them that mean things can be said and that some people do mean things to others and aren't very nice, we have the responsibility to teach our children this in hopes that they are nice to others. Unfortunately we can't always protect our children we can only teach them.

Grandma Labrum said...

As a school teacher I see kids saying hurtful things and I know they are taught differently at home. I also see children take offense when none is intended because of 'twisted' meanings or feelings that are on edge that particular day. Learning to cope, understand, feel empathy for others is a trait everyone must learn. I see kids ridiculed for being "too smart", not being included because their clothing is "too nice", as well as just the opposite. I keep reminding myself that the plan is that there is opposition in all things so we can learn from our experiences. And having people around who are thoughtful and caring can help all children learn. Taking time to explain and teach with loving care helps all children. The reactions of the adults in each situation will leave a lasting impression on those who need to learn the lessons. Spreading and teaching acceptance is the only way to influence our own world. Making sure we do so with love and our own acceptance of others will be the greater influence. That doesn't mean we don't have our own heart peirced when we see actions by others, but that we don't act on our hurt in a negative way, but in a way that will be a positive example of Christlike love.

nmck said...

My son Michael is 28 months and was diagnosed with CP this summer. I have been thinking about this topic lately, because he tells us he wants to walk regularly but can't do it independently for more than 10 feet or so. So he has to hold my hand, and then his toes turn in and his other arm comes way up as he works very hard to walk with me. At this point, he is still so little that people smile and tell us how cute he is b/c he just looks like a baby learning to walk. I wonder how long it will be until people look at him oddly and notice the challenge he is facing.