Thursday, October 18, 2012
This past summer I took the girls on a day trip to Austin. At the end of the day we found ourselves at a park with groups of kids in day camp t-shirts all around. At some point a few girls starting paying attention to Lamp, asking quesitons....you know, the usual. Well more and more kids came around and while there were some awkward comments it was definitely a great teaching opportunity. It wasn't one of those overwhelming get-me-out-of-here situations, it was genuinely sweet. These girls were kind and loving to both my girls and coming from "big" girls that made Lamp and PSP feel extra special. As we were leaving each girl wanted a hug from Lamp and PSP. Each girl. We ended with a group hug and I had to take a picture (above).
A couple weeks ago I walked into J. Crew and as Lamp was saying hi--loudly and directly at each person we passed, as is her way--one of the employees said, Hi! Oh--She's getting so big! I had no idea who that person was.
I went to home depot the other day, just Lamp and I. We were in the paint section and she wanted me to put her on the floor so she could scoot around while I looked at paint samples. An older couple was standing near by and before long they were interacting with her. I can't remember who started it, but she was talking to them and they were talking to her. Wow she speaks so well, they said. I nodded. Mama, they talking to me!
I know! I said.
As they walked away the man turned to me and said, You have a beautiful daughter.
Thanks. I know.
The woman at the paint counter started in next, Well hello sweetie! How are you? Lamp sat at the counter and they chatted and the lady asked about Halloween and other fun kid stuff. She called her a doll and several other compliments and basically verbally loved on my baby for the next 10 minutes.
A couple weeks before, also at home depot, B came home and told me about a cashier who checked them out and then said, Do you mind if I just talk to your daughter for a minute?
Of course not, he said. And she commenced a sweet little conversation with Lamp. A few days later when I went back (yes again to home depot) a cashier looked at us and said, Hey it's my little friend! I asked B if that was the same cashier that asked to speak with her a few days earlier...he wasn't sure.
A couple weeks ago we went to a nursery to buy some plants for the backyard. The two guys who worked there were of course kind and sweet to Lamp. They thought she was cute and funny--which she is. We were there for quite a while as I had all sorts of questions...by the end of our visit they picking her up, asking her questions and eventually took us to the back to see the cat. They told Lamp their names and asked her to come and visit them again soon.
Yesterday at Anthropologie I walked in and one of the Anthro girls (who we've come to know a little bit and who even found my blog) asked how we were doing and then crouched down to talk to Lamp and see how she was doing. Every time we go in she's super sweet, as are all the rest of the people I've interacted with at that store.
I could go on and on and on... Sometimes I feel like I'm walking around with a little celebrity baby. Everywhere we go she makes a new friend. Everywhere. And at most of our usual haunts--Target, Anthropologie, Sprouts, Home Depot, J. Crew--she has friends who know her, remember her and love on her. I know I've written about some of our harder moments and some of the tough encounters. I guess it's just easier to vent when you need to have other people bolster you up and tell you it's going to be OK. And yes those things have happened and yes it's been hard, but that's like .2% of our total experience. I really want you (and us and everyone) to know that 99% of the time people are amazing. The world is not perfect and in some ways things seems worse than ever. But I know for a fact, this everyday kindness and love would not be our experience had Lamp been born 100 or even 50 years ago. Sadly this would not be our experience even today in some parts of the world. Because I remember very clearly the worry I had about a baby with obvious physical differences and how we would be received in the world, I'm still pleasantly surprised to see how much good and kindness we receive almost daily. I often get a little teary with a heart full of gratitude when walking away from these lovely encounters. What can I say? People are good.
Here's to the 99%!