Today, I took Brooks to gymnastics. A fellow mom was passing by me. I was sitting in a chair (like all the other moms) and my walker was parked beside me. She says, “You poor thing. Getting out and being busy with toddlers must be such an ordeal for you. That (points at my walker) can’t be easy... bless your heart.”
If she had caught me in a better moment, I might have had a better response. I would have been gracious, informative and inspiring. I just said, “Oh, well, it’s not that bad. Gotta do what you gotta do.”
I know she didn’t mean anything negative or condescending. I am choosing to believe that the “pity smile” (who else knows what I’m talking about 🙋🏼♀️) was from a sincere place of empathy.
Truth be told, getting out IS a huge ordeal. And I am self conscious about it every single time. But I don’t see any other option. Ya, getting out is hard. What am I going to do... make my kids miss out on things because it’s “hard” for me? Miss out on getting out with friends? Hide away? No way.
I am thankful for my walker because it affords me freedom. I have become dependent on the walker for my independence. Yes, I am ALWAYS aware of it. But at the same time, it’s such an extension of me - I’m used to it.
I wish I had used that opportunity today to share light and kindness. I will do better next time 😉
(Piece of advice: don’t let this post make you shy away from making conversations with strangers with different abilities. Just please do it with sincere curiosity instead of pity. It’s disarming and awkward.)