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In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

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“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Sunday, April 25, 2010


These were the words a little boy of about 12 spoke to me tonight after I asked him to please stop staring at my daughter.
Sarah was getting ready to play at a church function.   This young man walked right up to her and said, "WHAT THE HECK IS THAT! "  He then repeated it, and I asked him to stop. He then said, "WELL LOOK AT HER! SHE HAS  A LIKE, WOODEN LEG!  I don't think he got, that I was her mother.
Honestly, I don't think he saw her as human, with feelings.

She ignored him, but I couldn't.  He continued to stand over her and stare down at her. How humiliating!
I asked him to stop and move. And then I asked him again, more firmly when he didn't.  I also told him, she isn't a wooden person, she has feelings. She is a little girl, WITH feelings. You are out of line and being unkind.

He moved over and got busy doing something else.

Sarah went on to play with her friends, seemingly unscathed by the incident. I'm so proud of her.
On the way home, she told me that he climbed into the jungle gym and waved smelly socks in her face and said, "Smell them"  She said, "I do, they stink, now get them out of my face."  LOL

Erika then told me that she had a few kids ask her "What happened to you".  She said she explained that she has arthrogryposis,  and said, "end of subject!"  LOL

There is nothing we can do about this kind of stuff. It happens.  Of course, my mama bear defense went up when I felt Sarah was being bullied.
There is a difference between asking a question and being rude.
In Erika's case, there was an honest question and it was over.
In Sarah's case, it was bullying.

Why as a human race are we like this?  Why do we wish to torment those who are different from us?
Why does my heart burn with anger when I know very well, this child most likely has good qualities too, and was just being foolish?

Part of me is angry that it happens at Church! For heaven's sakes, is there no safe haven?
No, there isn't. As long as there are sinners, there are those who sin.

So, what CAN I do?  BLOG.... and ASK, No BEG you to please PLEASE, remind your children that those who are different are normal. Those who are different love, and feel, and hurt just like you.
Remind them to love those who aren't like them. Remind them that they are not perfect either, and there will always be someone who is available to tease and torment.  Remind them to put THEMSELVES in the place of the tormented, and remember it isn't a desired position.
Remind them that questions are ok, but be considerate. Remind them that if they stare, please smile.
They may make a friend.

And I need to remind myself that this will always be the case. That I need to be understanding of those who are ignorant. That even though we wish  we weren't, we are walking bill boards for children with limb differences.
We are also representatives of the Lord and we must WALK IN HIM!  He was despised and rejected.
There is identification with that rejection, even if the reason was different.

I pray that my precious girlies will not be swayed by cruel remarks.  I pray that they will love those who persecute them, and reach outside of themselves for strength to endure, when their feelings are hurt.
I too pray that I will love those who are unkind. That I will show love and understanding to them.

I also pray for this young man, that he will have learned a good lesson. As he watched our daughter play  and run and jump with her friends..... his tactics didn't work, and she was having fun, while he was standing watching....
That is a mom's observation of the evening.

We will be going back next week to the same place. I hope things are better for them next week. ;)
I hope they make a new friend in a 12 year old boy, who can learn much from them.

In the end, the girlies had a wonderful evening, and I do look at her.... I look at her every single day, and I see a beautiful flower, blossoming. I see a beautiful girl, full of life, and fun and love and energy. I see that she is not slowed down one bit by her limb differences, and honestly, I forget she even has them.


mommajeane said...

We had something similiar 2 weeks ago on Wed. nite in Awanas with Jonas (missing his eye)... all the kids came in sharing the story .. and all were upset with the boy who treated their brother that way. There were other adults who were there as well who came up to Jonas and asked if he was ok afterwards..Fortunately Jonas's siblings were there and there are a few of them and they helped to "educate" this yg. man..I am right there with you and will defend these children with all I have.I too was upset that in church they have to deal with issues like this but then church is made up of imperfect people too.

MoonDog said...

before having kids with special needs my kids always asked ME questions about what they saw and I would just matter of factly tell them things like "his legs dont work like yours so he has to use a chair to help him get where he is going" but now that they have their Sophie and Ben they barely even NOTICE that anyone is different. They barely notice anymore that Sophie and Ben are different. Maia said one day mom? we can do things sophie cant, but she can do things WE cant! I was amazed. she really gets her sister. she sees her as sister and nothing more nothing less. Sorry you had to deal with that. I know my day is coming as Sophie gets more and more active and Ben is in AFOS and casts.

Christie M said...

Coincidently, this was at an Awana program too.
The child was one of th leader's children. I asked my friend about him, thinking maybe he was a visitor... My friend went and talked to the parents. I didn't want to...honesty, at that moment, I was too mad and I don't think I could have expressed myself with enough kindness.
That is my problem. :)
The parents told my friend they would talk with him.

junglemama said...

Amen. :)

Unknown said...

As odd as it sound, it seems that kids take it less hard than parents do. Or I, being disabled, might just react even more sensitively to kids making fun of Matthew, and to a lesser extent of Craig? I am not sure. I think our kids are the living proofs that different is good: Varietas dēlectat.

Anonymous said...

CM, nothing short of a public service announcement will make a dent, IMO. Honestly, you could start a mega internet campaign as others share a link to a video your family makes to educate the public. Between your girls and your grandgirls, I think you could produce something amazing. You will never know until you try!


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