Friday, August 24, 2012

Thank you and perspective...

Thank you to those that took the time to leave words of support and even similar stories on my last post.  I've cooled down and this always helps to give a new perspective on any situation.  I've tried to pinpoint what about the situation made me so upset and did I handle it the best way possible.  I'm one of those people that evaluates every interaction, even good ones, to see if I could've done anything better on my part.  I'm sure that this over analysis of every day events is driving me into an early grave from anxiety and stress and this isn't my favorite trait to be sure.

I think I was most irritated by her choice of words.  If she had walked up to me and said "I noticed that your son isn't talking" or "I noticed that your son uses sign language and his talking is not typical" then I would've accepted this curious stranger with open arms and would've probably left with her telephone number for future playdates (hey, I like making friends!).  It was the "is he special?" and the use of "mental issues" that truly is what pissed me off.  I think I said this the other day but I don't label Cooper has special and I never want him to feel like he's different.  He's just the same as all the other kids but he talks with his hands.  Deaf kids talk with their hands but for some reason it messes with people's minds that he isn't deaf and that he just can't talk (right now).  They automatically assume that he's mentally handicap or Autistic.  He has a speech disorder!  ANYONE in real-life will tell you that he's funny, extremely social, affectionate and smart.  He knows all his shapes, colors, some numbers and is learning his ABCs (not how to recite the song but actual letter recognitition) and he's only 2.  Am I bragging about his accomplishments? Well, hell yeah, I'm his proud mommmy! 

Here is where my perspective has changed and where I wish maybe I would've handled things differently.  I wonder if this woman just feels so alone and maybe just thought that I could understand what she's currently going through on some level.  Instead I shut her off and was mildly defensive.  But, in my defense, I really can't understand what she's going through really.  My son isn't aggressive (minus, the one incident where he bit that kid, lol) and does well in all social situations that are appropriate for a 2 year old.  But, I do wish that maybe I would've offered more empathy to her but the whole situation was strange.  She was showing me a urine container in her stroller because they're trying to "see what's wrong with him" (her words not mine) and was talking to me about medicines that I don't know about.  Her son was yelling at Coop because the kid was swinging a bag of carrots in Coop's face and when Coop went to reach for one the kid lost his mind.  It was awkward and I just wanted to get away. 

But, in all of this, I know that Cooper has different challenges than his friends and the friends that he'll make in school.  I've been meditating on the fact that maybe this situation bugged me because it brought up fears about these challenges and the fight up ahead.  NOTHING has come easy for my sweet boy and he's known nothing other than fighting to catch up.  I laugh at the old Jen that was pregnant with Cooper because she thought just surviving his pregnancy with a living baby would be the tough part but that was just the beginning...

I do wish that I would've answered her "is he special" question with "in every way!" because he is...

2 comments:

  1. What a hard situation. I think you handled yourself very well - it's easy to analyze it all later and drive yourself crazy. We all want to protect our kids from the thoughtless people of the world. Cooper is super special - and smart! and funny! and a good friend! These are all things that people who know him will recognize and associate with your sweet little boy. It sounds like this woman is completely lost in her own world if she was trying to pull a urine cup out of her bag to show a stranger at the zoo...

    You're doing a fine job, Mommy. And now you have a good answer if anyone ever has the gall to ask you something like that again. :-)

    ReplyDelete