Sunday, August 17, 2008

Invisible Disability

My boys are very good natured, compassionate, accepting, and honest...they just don't have a lot of tact. This often leads to a lot of "kid's say the darnedest things" moments and some pretty funny situations.

We were at a family reunion yesterday when Hubby's mom introduced a little girl whose arm did not develop past her elbow. Bubba immediately went up, grabbed her arm, inspected it, and asked incredulously "Do you have an invisible arm?!?!?!" He started to go for her shorts to look for it.

The girls grandmother was speechless. I, just approaching the introduction, lightly pressed my hand on Bubba's shoulder and reminded him that he shouldn't touch people without their permission. Bubba's grandma had a knee jerk reaction and quickly delivered: "He has brain damage--like a stroke." Apparently Bubba gets his lack of tact from his grandma.

Later I pulled Bubba aside and we talked about the little girl's disability in the context of his disability (she was born without part of her arm, he was born without his corpus callosum). We discussed how he didn't need to worry about any differences and that it wasn't nice to point out the differences because it might make people feel uncomfortable. When he brought out his cars and she asked to play, he stood nobly and stated "Yes you can play with my cars. And I don't care what happened to your arm!" And that was that, and they played happily until it was time to eat.


Niksmom said...

God bless children for their resilience and their compassionate acceptance of one another...until someone "teaches" it out of them, huh?

I can appreciate that it was an awkward moment.

Ange said...

Funny you said "until someone "teaches" it out of them." That's what I felt like I was doing. He was totally honest and innocent, and it was pretty darn funny. He seriously thought she had magic powers and a cool invisible arm. Seriously. It was something new, he was curious. I did focus more on the "ask permission" part. I need to spend more time on how to ask questions when you are curious. And the not touching part (Both my boys do not get personal space at all, but then again, people are always up in theirs, so....)

Mrs. C said...

Ho, boy, reminds me of the time Elf asked the black cashier at Hy-Vee whether her "boss" knew she left the farm?

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, ya know.

Kelley said...

I dunno if I could have held myself with a comment like that from his grandma. I am sure I would have snapped back with something about it being hereditary from her side of the family...

You are a saint.