Monday, January 21, 2013

Different, Not Less "Hi, how are you!?"

Go ahead and glare at me, I don't even care. You asked the question, you're going to wait for the answer. If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question in the first place. And, no, this isn't about Walter's mental scarring over hiding panties in the gyno's office. although, that was funny.

Let me set the scene for you... there we are in the Dollar Tree. Just me and Alex because my husband was trying to herd the hoodlums in other parts of the store while my sole purpose was to get collapsible containers for his toys because the hard plastic ones went wrong in a very bad way. We're there in the aisle, I'm telling Alex that I understand and it will be really quick, I just need to find the right size and color for what we need. A woman comes along and Alex being the lovable little ball of Alex that he is, looks at her and says "Hi, there!" (I must say that I am totally impressed that he knows not to add in the "It's me, Steve!" because he's brilliant like that) She looks a bit surprised, maybe a tad uncomfortable and says, "Hi, how are you?" and walks on. Oh, no. uh-uh. you are not. It was nice of you to say hi back, but you can't ask a question and just walk away as if the answer doesn't even matter.

So, I loudly translate: "Alex! She said 'HI, THERE!!! How ARE you!?"!?'"
She stops in her tracks and gives me a look clearly conveying her annoyance at having to continue the conversation while I give back a look clearly conveying my annoyance at having to demand respect for my son.
Alex: with a big smile at being able to have a conversation he knows, "YOU!?"
I am not translating that one because I know better than to ask a question I don't want the answer to.
Me: "Are you GOOD?"
Alex: with a big smile at being able to have a conversation he knows, "GOOD!!!"
She doesn't say another word and turns to continue on her way.

Thank you, stranger, for being polite enough to stop no matter your feelings on waiting for the answer you asked for, however...

If he had not been in his stroller, if he had not been clearly disabled, if he had been a 'normal' 10 year old boy greeting you, would you have stood behind his back, silently glaring at his mother during the unwanted exchange 'forced' on you or would you have stood face to face and answered him with a smile?

Moral of the story: Different, Not Less.

"I say to you today, my friends,
so even though we face the difficulties
of today and tomorrow,
I still have a dream.
It is a dream deeply rooted
in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day

this nation will rise up
and live out the true meaning of its creed:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident:
that all men are created equal.""
-Martin Luther King Jr


  1. You don't treat any kid like they are not worth waiting for the answer, or you don't need to ask the question. Good on you, Mama!

  2. oh, I always say to Lily..."Lily, we don't talk to HER kind..."

  3. You go Mama! Everyone deserves the same level of respect, I am glad you stood up to show her that! I love the quote btw!!

  4. Good for you and yeah for Alex being so wonderfully social with a complete stranger! I would have done the same thing. I am a big talker and to my daughters dismay, I will talk to anyone, anywhere and about just about anything.

  5. sometimes I'm sad at how verbal my boy has become at age 6 because now he walks up to strangers and instead of saying hi says "what are you drinking- may I have some?". :) The stroller looks kind of flimsy-- may I ask what it is? He's 10, right? For my daughter who is only 6 but at big as a 10 year old, we have a maclaren major and it works great-- insurance covered it. FYI, I'd have a nice long convo with him--- and you. :)

    1. Thank you, Heather.

      The stroller is actually very sturdy. Rae from Parenting the Puzzle gave it to him when her boy outgrew it. We applied for one through his insurance but it was denied because they saw no reason a baby stroller wouldn't work for him.