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Archive for July, 2011

If you’ve read my postings over the past two years it’s obvious that I struggle with strangers staring at Ella. I’ve tried many different approaches to deal with my discomfort —staring back at the strangers, smiling at them, and at times asking them what they’re looking at—-not my best moment.

This spring and summer our family has been traveling a lot–swimming with dolphins in Key Largo and visiting family and friends in Maryland and Maine. During our travels and most of the summer I’ve been trying a new approach to the stares of strangers. As I notice people looking at Ella I  silently say “I forgive you and I wish you peace and happiness.” As I say this phrase in my head my heart begins to soften, I can control my mamma bear instinct to lash out and protect. Without my anger in the air the strangers seem to soften as well. Many people have approached us asking about Ella, or tell us about their brother, sister or cousin with special needs or comment on Ella’s beautiful hair. These exchanges have made me think that we really never know what people are thinking or feeling, we can only assume. By letting my assumptions go and creating a positive environment through my silent phrase I open the door for a peaceful exchange with a perfect stranger. A stranger that several months ago I would have remained angry with for hours for staring at my kid.

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