Today was Super Fun Day! at Fisher’s school, and I spent the morning monitoring one of the bouncy-houses they had on site (along with Am-Fam). I brought Tate with me, and he and Am-Fam’s daughter spent the time going back and forth between our station and the playground.
Most of the classes attending the morning session were younger kids – Kindergarten through Third Grade. Kids at this age still fine-tuning their social graces, and since they were standing in line waiting their turn for a majority of their time at our station, they were doing a lot of staring at Tate’s arm.
(In case you’re brand-new here, my 5yo son was born missing his right hand due to Amniotic Band Syndrome).
Normally when we get a starer, I’ll say something like, “do you have a question about Tate’s arm?” or something like that. But this was class after class of kids, and it was difficult not to get irritated. It was clearly bothering Tate (who was standing beside me and obviously trying to hide his arm) and I just didn’t feel like having this conversation over and over again.
At one point, a first grade class came to our station, and shortly after having yet another “please don’t stare at my kid” conversation, I looked over to see a little girl smile at Tate and wave to him so shyly and sweetly that I nearly burst into tears right then and there.
I KNOW the other kids were just curious, and weren’t meaning to be cruel, but it is so rare to have so MANY people staring at Tate (this just isn’t as common a problem for us as you might think) and it was difficult.
I went over to tell her teacher what happened, so she could be sure to relay it to her parents. I don’t know her or her parents, but I’m told she’s a pretty special kid. Thank you, Katie – I’ll never forget that sweet little smile and wave you gave Tate today. He might not have noticed, but I sure did.
I feel like I should point out that we know a lot of kids at the school, and the kids who know Tate are incredibly kind to him. No one was being mean in any way – they were just bored standing in line, and curious. Totally natural, but also totally annoying. And sometimes funny – one girl cupped a hand over her eye so she wouldn’t “accidentally stare”. Ha!