I was heading out for a walk with Caleb, to get some fresh air and a change of scenery. I waited for the lift. It came and I got in. Just as the doors were closing a man appeared with his daughter.
Now, I’m not going to stereotype, so let’s just say the young man was wearing a tracksuit, he had freshly scabbed grazes to his face. His hood was up and he smelled like old cigarette smoke- you know, how your clothes used to smell the morning after a night out, before the smoking ban….not pleasant. He was the kind of guy that if I had met him in a dark alley I would be worried.
The man and his daughter (who was about 3 or 4yrs old) joined us in the lift. The little girl just stood and stared at Caleb. I was unaware, but even if I had noticed, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. Children are naturally curious.
She had got into a small lift with a strange lady who was pushing a buggy with a small boy inside. He had tubes protruding from his nose, which then twisted up and round the handles of the buggy, then down into a peculiar looking cylinder underneath. The little boy had a face full of white tape holding the tubes in place.
She just stared innocently.
I have two older children and have been in similar situations. Usually these things pan out one of two ways…..
1- the dad would tell the little girl to not be rude and to stop staring.
2- the man would satisfy her curiosity with an honest explanation as to what she was seeing.
Rather loudly the man said to the girl (in the strongest Glaswegian accent)
“What are you staring at??”
To which the girl gave him a quick glance before focusing her gaze back on Caleb .
The man – “Are you looking at that big clever boy?”
This time the girl didn’t respond.
The man then said (loudly and proudly)-
“That is what we call….a wee Trooper!!!”
The little girl just smiled….. and so did I!!
He didn’t NEED to say anything. But by doing so he sent a very strong message to his daughter.
A message I often express to my children when I catch them staring or they ask me an awkward question…..
It’s ok to be curious and yes, some people are a little different…. but that’s ok!
No need to fear, no need to pity. Why would you?
#allthefeels #thewordsofstrangers #innocent #dontjudgeabookbyitscover #curious #whatgoesthroughachildsmind #strongmessage #differentisok #inclusion #seetheability #nothingdownaboutit #downsyndrome #dsblog #trisomy21 #rockthe21 #rockingmum #westsyndrome #lastingimpression #keepingitreal #bloggingmum #ukparentblog #realmum #instamum #instablog #blogger #blog