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October 16, 2020

Looking Our Differences in the Eye

At the hospital, we waited 15 minutes for the elevator and as we got in, a frazzled looking mom with her 8 yr old boy got in with us.

They had sat in the car waiting for the lifts, the boy making a wailing sound while his arms and legs spasmed irregularly.

Because we were forced to wait so long, there were a lot of us in the elevator.

Instincts overruling elevator etiquette, I turned to the mom and said, “Is he going to be okay with us all squashed in here like sardines? If you move a little more that way, my daughter and I will secure the corner and give him more room to breathe.”

She nodded gratefully back and we stood like we were in row 2 at a concert, my 10-year-old and I holding our ground forcefully against the marauding masses.

The wailing had stopped and he appeared calmer when I turned around to make eye contact, “You okay there, big boy?”

He didn’t answer or look at me but his body language was relaxed. His mom smiled at me and I smiled back.

In that moment, we were just two moms in an elevator acknowledging all the realities of motherhood.

There is no shame in having a child that is different and looking away only alienates the parents.

Make eye contact. Smile. Go on, it won’t kill you.


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