Wednesday, August 4, 2010

your cat is staring at me

Being the oldest kid in the family, I have always been overprotective of my siblings. Sometimes it's helpful, but a lot of the time, it's not. I got in the middle of an almost fistfight between my brother and some thug in Jr. High, therefore embarrassing the crap out of him. I have since tried to back off, but to this day I am still too protective of my brother's heart.

It's Loo-loo that I am the most protective of.

Last week, my mom got a call from a neighbor. She was teaching a lesson in "differences" to some kids, and wondered if Loo-loo would like to speak to the kids about her Down Syndrome, and also if my mom would like to speak about it. (there is nothing wrong with having DS, it's just one of those kind of obvious chromosomal abnormalities.)

(clears throat) Yeah. If you are so ignorant that you don't know that your neighbor does not have down syndrome, you shouldn't be teaching children about "differences". Tact goes a long way. Google can be your friend.

The woman proceeded to tell my mom that it would be a month long stretch of lessons, and that for another one, she wanted to ask the only african american kids in the neighborhood to speak as well. About why they are so different from the white kids.

Also, if you are a blatant racist, you shouldn't be teaching children anything.

Last Saturday, I spent the day at my mom's making jam. So while I was pitting, chopping and stirring, I talked to Loo-loo about being different.

Me: "Do you think you are different than me?"

Her: "No. Well, I have different shirt on. And pants. And socks. And....."

Me: "I have brown hair, and you have blonde hair."

Her: "I have blue eyes, you have brown."

And so on. And on. It became very obvious that Loo-loo does not see herself as different than anyone else. She also does not see anyone else differently. Which is amazing to me.

I judge people all the time. I can't help it. I try to be objective, nice, understanding, etc... But what I see on the surface affects how I respond.

(drumroll please) And here is a very ugly truth about me- I walk into Walmart and see fat, hairy, poor, gross, skanky and stupid idiots that don't deserve my attention. Loo-loo walks into Walmart and sees the job of her dreams, to be the door greeter. To get to say "Hello" and "Have a nice day!" to all of her new friends. If I could just be a little bit like my sister, I would be a much better person. I know that I am not better than anyone, I don't know why I always act like it.

I have never seen my sister as "less". I have read and heard parents of handicapped children say things like "She'll never go to college. She'll never walk down the aisle. He'll never drive a car. He'll never fall in love." (but I do understand that being the parent of a handicapped child is a much different and more difficult role than that as a sibling.)

Who says they never will? Do those things even matter? Yeah, Loo-loo might never get married, and she will definitely never drive a car. But her ability to see every human being as equal? Never judging, laughing at, envying. How amazing is that? Superpower anyone? Even if all I did was focused on the inherent good in people, that everyone deserves to be treated equally, I would still make judgements.

Loo-loo is always happy. Always. She has moments of sadness, anger, fright, but they are just moments. Even though I have a wonderful life, I sometimes struggle to be happy. (pretty sure everyone "normal" to some extent does.)

So to me, Loo-loo's gifts far outweigh her "differences".

In closing, there are some uptight, ignorant people in this world that get huffy when their neighbors cat stares at them from across their yards. Then there are some that can love every living thing on earth, for exactly who they are, and do it with a grin and a giggle.

I'll take door number 2 please.

(my mom's neighbor growing up used to call to tell them to make their cat stop staring at her.)

1 comment:

  1. This made me cry. I love Lindsay and have always admired the exact things that you just said about her. She's an amazing person and I think we ALL need to strive to possess a little more of what she has ♥