The Leash

Before you have children you will say “oh when I have kids I’ll never do…”
Then sometime down the road when you do have kids you’ll find yourself in that awkward moment doing that exact thing you said you’d never do!
I have had many of these moments and I keep thinking why in the world did I ever say that? Why did I look at that family and judge them? What the heck was wrong with me then – because look at me that way now! I know people think the same things of me as I once did of others by the things they say around me or by their non-verbal language and lately it breaks my heart. It makes me want to scream and shout at them “You don’t know me! I don’t care what you think my kid looks like – you don’t know him!” Typically I stay quiet and go about our business. Yet lately I find myself snapping a little more and more. Clearly it’s been chipping away at me. Actually just last week I didn’t completely keep my cool with a woman at the WIC office. I told her to stop over generalizing me because she doesn’t know me and my family and our situation. She’s since been even ruder to me and that’s where I’m thankful that I’ve taken anger management and resiliency training and knew to simply step away.
Ok so let me share with you a big thing that I said I would NEVER do when I have kids that I find myself doing almost every day now…the leash! I will admit that before I had children and even when I had just Sophia that I often looked down on parents that had a backpack leash on their children. I proclaimed on multiple occasions that I’d never do that because I’ll be able to control my kids. Or I’ll never do that because my daughter is well behaved. So I confess, Sophia had a backpack leash and we used it a couple of times to help us navigate through the airport. She wasn’t so bad though and I truly probably didn’t need it with her – it was more of a security for me. Yet now with Tedy I use his backpack leash all the time! The boy simply cannot be trusted! He is such a handful! Yet today I cried because of the leash. I had Ceci asleep on my back in the Ergo Baby Carrier (love that thing seriously wish I got it long ago) and Tedy hooked up to his leash practicing walking nicely. Yes practicing walking – you see Tedy is an exceptional child! (Before this blog post I would have told you special needs but a great friend of mine, actually she’s more like a sister, gave me some amazing advice about terms like that). For Tedy simply walking nicely is a tough task for him (especially with shoes on) and since Ceci is enjoying her new carrier and since a big ole double stroller isn’t the easiest to push around at times we’ve started working harder at simple tasks suggested by his therapists. Well we walked by a group of folks and since Tedy was having a tough time and falling more than usual someone “jokingly” commented “that lady needs to get her fing retarded kid a helmet” I glared and commented how nasty it was to have to walk by such disgusting smoke when I have to go to this building. My skin may appear thick at times but that one struck me hard and I took a moment and cried before I could drive. It sucks! Too often people look at Tedy and think the wrong things! Too often people look at EXCEPTIONAL people and think the wrong things! Too often people also say the wrong things! I’ll admit that I don’t know how much Tedy truly absorbs and understands the things around him. I can only pray that he stays the happy boy that he is and knows that he is loved!
So to all of you out there that see a “normal” looking kid with a back pack leash on. Please don’t be foolish like I once was. Please don’t say hurtful things. You most likely don’t know that child or family and what their situation truly is. Please be kind and know that we are all exceptional gifts from God!

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3 thoughts on “The Leash

  1. OMG!! I am soo sorry! I wish I could give you a hug right now. This made me tear up. People are so mean and rude. I just don’t understand saying such awful things, period. I don’t care how much you do or don’t know about a situation you should know better to keep your mouth shut, especially around little kids. I hope Tedy does stay his happy self and isn’t aware of the “retards” around him.

  2. I can’t believe someone said that!!! That is awful. You are a much better person that I am. I would have lost it if I had heard someone say that. I am so sorry

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