You know what I mean. Yes, we are all different, thank god, but I mean visible differences. Stand out and get stared at differences.
In case the 30 or so readers a day did not read the extraordinary comments from my friend Sarah, I'm reprinting it here.
Honestly, Sarah, I got chills when I read this. Your mom is brilliant and you are a treasure. Thank you for sharing this information and, in case anyone ever googles "what to do when people stare at your child's difference," here is the best answer I've seen from a woman of strength and wisdom:
I have a cleft palate and while it is noticeable now, it was MUCH more noticeable as a child. Especially right after surgeries (had tons of them.) When kids stared, my mom often kindly asked them if they had a question. If they said yes, she asked them about what – never assuming it was my lip. Most of the questions (whether prompted by my mom or not) went something like, “What happened to her?” or “What’s wrong with her lip?” or “Why does she talk funny?” All of these questions could have frozen both of us – certainly shy little me. My mom would patiently explain that I had been born without a lip and that marvelous doctors had been able to give me one --- and didn’t they do an AMAZING job? She’d make it sound so lucky and exciting. Her approach did several things for me: 1) gave me words to one day answer the questions myself, 2) respected the normal curiosity of other children and broke the ice for us to play, and 3) made it a not shameful experience – no reason not to answer questions because my lip IS different but it’s not THAT big of a deal. Differentness is interesting and, thank God, exists in all of us. Brody’s thumbs are nothing short of wicked cool miracles (hard fought for with your whole self, but miracles, nonetheless.) We didn’t choose to be part of these wicked cool miracles but I sure am glad we get to.