Friday, March 28, 2008

...and sometimes, they actually learn what you try to teach them.

We went to the store today, the little Armenian grocery near our home. It's been really nice weather; I am trying to get out as much as possible while it lasts! (The walking is also good for my hips, and helps the baby not poke me so much.) We picked up some stuff for lunch and dinner, some more apple juice, milk, stuff like that (and of course a few treats.) Our fridge is still broken so we've only got our freezer and my mom's mini-fridge that we're borrowing, so it's been a bit of a pain keeping food in the house, we're averaging a trip to this store (the only one in walking distance, really, at least walking distance when this pregnant) about every 2 or 3 days. And lots of delivery in between.

Anyway, we were there at a kind of busy time of afternoon, I guess. There were several people with small children (6 or 7 and under-- several around 2 or 3) in the store at the same time. There also happened to be a man in an electric wheelchair, who had Cerebral Palsy. He was verbal only with great difficulty (I heard him talking in Armenian to the storekeeper at one point) but he had a big smile on his face the entire time we were there.

What made me happy today was the way my children reacted to this man who was differently-abled. The other children in the store stared rather worriedly, or kind of hid behind their mothers, and the older ones kind of pointedly looked away, trying not to be rude by "staring." Bridey saw him smiling and smiled back, waved, and said, "HI!" Then she turned and excitedly told me, "Mommy, man habe swollew wike me!" ("Man have stroller like me!") He laughed at this, and so did she, because she laughs when others laugh. Then Emma walked up and said, "Hi! How are you? My Aunt Mimi has a wheeled-chair like yours. I like it!" He burst out into the biggest, sunniest smile you can imagine.

As we were on the way home, Emma told me (in between bites of her ice cream), "I liked that man's wheeled-chair! I really liked it! Mimi uses a wheeled-chair too. I think they are fun." Then she told me, "That man holds his hands differently. But that is okay. He was nice."

I think they're gonna be okay.


Guinevere Meadow said...

Doesn't it just warm your heart?

I STILL don't know how to behave sometimes when I see someone who is differently-abled. Your kids can teach me a thing or two!

Gori Girl said...

That's really awesome, kq! :-)

breyerchic04 said...

When a boy I babysit was about 3 (he's 5 now) he saw his great grandmother using an electric wheelchair at the zoo, and asked for one for Christmas. It was so sweet.