This post isn’t intended to be political, but his electoral “win” makes me worry about my daughter’s future. He who shall not be named doesn’t even try to hide his distain for people with disabilities. It makes me wonder if her life will be more difficult because he’s giving people the message that it’s okay to be intolerant and cruel.
However, there’s a kindness army rising up against hatred and discrimination.
Kids are being raised to believe in equity and love and compassion. We’re surrounded by it, basking in their warmth and inclusion.
My daughter’s school and neighbourhood friends treat her like the important person she is, worthy of respect and friendship.
Avery’s been asking to go shopping with friends for weeks. She doesn’t actually care about buying anything. It’s about the experience. And her purse. She brings it with her on special outings. Inside you’ll find her lip balm, her pretend debit card, her (bicycle) driver’s license and a handful of coins.
I drove my daughter and her two friends to our local mall to do some Christmas shopping.
I tried to stay in the background to give Avery the feeling of shopping on her own with her friends like I did when I was her age.
She looked so grown up and happy. So happy.
The older girls looked at new cases for their iPods. Avery looked too even though she doesn’t have a phone or an iPod. “I’ll get one when I’m older,” she told them.
Listening to them chat and laugh was the sweetest. Yes, it made me cry. I know. I can’t help it. Happy tears, sad tears, mad tears, windy-day-irritated-eye tears… I cry a lot.
I teared up as I watched my daughter shop for me. I wasn’t full-out bawling. I’m not a complete wimp. I just had blurry eyes and a lump in my throat—the kind you get when you’re totally moved and your body can’t possibly manage all the feelings so they spill out a little.
The trio went into the Body Shop and Avery searched for something to buy for me as a surprise. I subtly pointed to some mango hand cream and passed Avery’s friend some money. Avery took the box to the counter and proudly paid for it herself.
She carried the bag for the rest of the day, clutched to her chest, warning me not to peek inside. “Your Christmas present is in here mum. Please don’t look.”
I didn’t look.
We browsed a bit more.
Then we had lunch in the food court.
The older girls talked about their friends and school and other things that girls in grade six talk about. But they never left Avery out. They always found a way to bring her into the conversation.
They didn’t talk down to her or over her. They talked with her. I didn’t guide them. They did this easily and naturally on their own.
After I dropped the girls off and we headed home Avery said, “That was so fun mum. We went shopping. I love shopping. I bought you a present. Don’t look okay?”
And then, “Thank you mum, for taking me shopping with my friends.”
Oh kiddo, any day.
Thank you mamas and papas, you know who you are, for raising such kind-hearted people. They may not realize it, but these kids are growing into strong leaders in the kindness army that will change the world for the better.