Today was a sunny day. I should have felt all warm and good. But I did not.
After almost a month of being housebound, Miguel and I were able to go out and play in the park. My toddler, Olivia, was also with us.
Miguel had a great time in the swing. Olivia had a blast, too, going up and down the slides. But, we didn’t stay there long because the temperature was low, 3 degrees Celsius. I didn’t want them to get sick again.
The park was close to my two older daughters’ school so I decided to just go and pick them up after we’re done in the park. So, we did.
While in the lobby waiting for the dismissal, I saw some familiar faces. I get to meet some of the parents of my daughters’ classmates again. Actually, I haven’t gone to the school for months so they were surprised to see me there.
I knew they would ask me about Miguel and I was right. A few already know about Miguel’s condition so these didn’t really ask me a lot of questions except how he’s doing now. Some new faces approached me while Miguel was in my arms and gave him a look that is all too familiar to me.
One of them stared at Miguel like he was in a freak show. That look cut through my heart. I may have just been too sensitive to interpret it that way. But I know the look. I really know.
That moment I felt like all of them just circled around us and we were a spectacle in a theater. I wanted to run out the door and save Miguel from all those stares.
One even commented that Miguel must have been born that way because I was taking birth control pills. She said she knew of others who have disabled children because they were taking pills when they conceived. I politely said most are genetic. She didn’t seem to acknowledge what I said.
I know most of the comments people tell me are not meant to hurt. I know they are not that cruel. But, those words still hurt. I just wish they know.
Today should have been a good day for Miguel and me. Instead, an old wound was opened. I hope it heals fast enough so I can move on… again.