Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hello - welcome to reality!

Today was a very hard day for me. I found out first hand what it's like when people point, stare, & whisper at my child.
We were out, just me and the girls, and there were 3 people not 3-4 feet away from us just standing there staring. I pretended not to notice them, but when I saw them pointing, looking at each other with their hands over their mouth so I couldn't see what they were saying, and whispering I couldn't pretend anymore. I looked right at them - square in the eyes and they all looked away. They said to each other "I'll tell you later" and then kept staring at Brooklyn. She didn't have a hat it was obvious what they were looking at.
Talk about breaking a mom's heart! They couldn't have made it any more obvious!
So what to do?...I asked myself. I was seriously about 2 seconds away from educating them...but I just couldn't do it. I was too shocked at what had just happened. You just have to be in the right frame of mind to inform strangers about Brooklyn...and I definitely wasn't there today. So I did what I thought was the next best thing to do...I packed up the kids & left. (Nap time is a great excuse!!)
I cried the whole way home. How could they do that? A part of me wants to hate them...but another part of me thinks that they aren't at fault because they really had no idea. There's something different about Brooklyn and they shouldn't have made such a scene, but I should have educated them.
I've always said that when Brooklyn has her tissue expanders in that we're going to be hermits. We're going to stay home & not go out in public where perfect strangers can stare & laugh at her. Also, there's no way we'll fly to Chicago for her 2nd & 4th surgeries when she has them in her head either. I've said that it's cause I won't allow the stares & points that will be coming her way. I knew it would happen, just not this soon! This is a PRIME example of why we won't be leaving the house and of why we won't be flying. I've learned today what it's like and it's not fun. And I refuse to have that happen again, if I can help the situation.
I know this world can be cruel, but I'm doing everything I can to protect my daughter. Of course it hurts me more than it hurts her, but it's still hurt, one way or another.
I mentioned this on Facebook and tears came to my eyes with the overwhelming response that I got. So much love and support is out there...all for us. It amazed me! I'm pretty much over the whole ordeal now. I'm more happy than anything...because of the wonderfully nice comments people left me about this. It's times like these that you really know you're blessed!


  1. Oh, Merilee *HUG* Your little Brooklyn is beautiful! She is perfect and sweet and I am so sorry that you ran into people who couldn't see that right away. People really should know better - you did great with the situation but I'm so sorry they hurt your feelings. you are a GREAT mom with a FABULOUS family!

  2. Merilee, I just read this. I remember well what it was like when we had the first hurtful obvious whispering-behind-the-hand stuff. You will get used to dealing with the bad reactions - and also be grateful for the good ones as well, because I promise you will get some of those, too!

    It's early yet for you to want to educate other people. Some folks carry around flyers from their organization but I always felt a little like a sect member trying to hand them out.

    I usually now go up to, and ask people like that, do you have any questions you would like me to answer about my daughter's condition? And then you see what they say. Often, people who don't know how to face differences in others are kind of grateful for the opening. But it has been ten years for us, not a few months.

    Don't be hard on yourself. Don't worry about the looks you'd get with the expanders, it doesn't get worse than what you've just been through. When your child is old enough to notice, things will be so well underway and you all so secure in the rest, that she will easily be able to deal with any similar reactions to scars or any other tiny differences. I promise. Best wishes.