Our community has a really cool indoor pool. When the kids were younger, we were members of the community recreation center that includes the cool pool. I moved to a different gym and stopped taking the kids there. I actually started avoiding that pool like the plague because it was one of the few locations in town were I had a really consistent time dealing with obnoxious questions about Jordan’s limb difference. I’m totally cool with questions. I don’t like people who follow me around with my child just to stare and they don’t leave after I’ve asked them to either play with my child or leave. Staring and following isn’t cool. That happened all the time when Jordan was younger.
Today was an early release day for the kids and their after school program scheduled a trip to this indoor community pool. I was okay with it but I also expected Jordan to come back with stories of annoying kids (or possibly adults. It’s happened.)
I asked her if she had fun. I didn’t even prompt her to see if there were annoyances. That’s when she said:
“I had fun! Everyone left me alone. I never had to say ‘WHAT!'”
Apparently saying “WHAT” is what Jordan says if a child walks up to her and just stares. I didn’t know that. But she told me today that people who don’t ask questions and stare with leave her feeling exasperated. Today’s trip to the pool made her feel just like any other kid. I’ve never talked to her before about this perspective and heard her experiences come out without prompting. She told me she felt good and didn’t feel like anyone was looking at her. Then she laughed and mentioned how she’d never look around to check.
She had no “whats” today and got to feel like any other kid… Because that’s what she is!
And our conversation tonight opened me up to a very mature side of my little six year old. Her perspective of being in the public is a level of awareness I know I didn’t have at her age.