Kids say the darndest things and sometimes the things they say make us shudder. They say whatever is on their mind whether it’s appropriate or not. While parents usually cringe, one mother is thankful for a child who said what was on his mind, and how his mother reacted.
Leah Carroll was in a Chick-Fil-A with her son, Malachi, when she experienced something she writes is not all that uncommon for parents of children with special needs: she overheard a little boy say something about her son. In a post shared to the Love What Matters Facebook page, Carroll explained why she wasn’t particularly bothered by the young boy.
“Thank you for giving my son a chance to meet your kids,” she wrote.
While Carroll and her young son were in the fast food restaurant, a five-year-old boy pointed at Malachi and exclaimed, “Mom look at THAT boy!”.
A young boy pointed at Carroll’s son who was in a wheelchair.
Carroll wrote how she observed the mother and could tell she was a bit flustered, possibly not entirely knowing how to handle the situation. She noted that the mother explained to the 5-year-old and his 3-year-old brother that they shouldn’t point and stare, but as with most young children they didn’t grasp the idea.
“When you realized your whispers weren’t working I saw the panic disappear and you took a deep breath and took a step of courage,” Carroll wrote.
The mother took her boys over to meet Malachi.
Carroll described how happy Malachi was when the boys came over to him and introduced themselves. She commented that not only did it bring a smile to her boy’s face, but the interaction brought tears to her eyes.
You brought your boys over to Malachi and said ‘I bet he would like to know your names!’ As they said their names my little Malachi started grinning from ear to ear and jabbering back to them. The joy on his face brought tears to my eyes- he loves kids his age but so many are fearful to come and speak to him. Your boys continued to ask questions about his foot braces, his wheelchair, why his legs don’t work, why he holds his mouth open like that. You took the time to educate your sons in that moment and help them understand that different is okay. Different is not something to fear. And that it was okay to ask questions! Thank you for giving my son a chance to meet your kids. Thank you for being the type of mom who educates your children instead of frantically trying to silence them.
Carroll continued by saying that rather than scold a child for making rude comments or staring, parents should use the opportunity to teach their kids about others who may be different from them.
You can read Carroll’s post here.