Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ignorance at it's finest

For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, I apologize ahead of time for repeating myself about what went on today...but I felt the need to write about it on here too.
Anyway, today started out like any other ordinary Saturday...I took Emma to her piano lesson in the morning, came home for lunch, and went to gymnastics in the afternoon. Her gymnastics class is 2 hours long with a small break in the middle for the kids to eat a snack (which works out awesomely for a diabetic!). So, there I was sitting on the floor in the hallway reading my book when her class came walking out for break. As usual Emma bounced over to me holding her finger out waiting for me to check her blood sugar and hand over the snack. I went about my business...right there on the floor...with a room full of other parents and kids around us...just like I always do every single Saturday afternoon. Since day one, I have never tried to hide Emma's diabetes. I've never made her go into the washroom or the car when we are out in public to give needles or check blood. I made that mental decision pretty much immediately after she was diagnosed. I don't want this to be something that she feels should be hidden or secret. I don't want to promote the feeling of shame or embarassment. She is a normal 7 year old kid. She happens to have diabetes. She needs needles and finger pokes to stay alive. Simple as that. There is no shame in simply wanting to stay alive. There's no shame in wanting to do what needs to be done to stay healthy and alive. I have never flaunted the checks or needles either though. I've never made a grand deal of them or anything of that nature. I have always just treated them as additional steps in the whole "eating food process". That's it...nothing more, nothing less.
So, I was checking her at gymnastics, I happened to glance up and notice a father standing nearby with his daughter who appeared to be around Emma's age. He was watching us and had this utter look of disgust on his face. At first, seeing as how I am somewhat of a naive person still, I thought maybe he was just one of those people who gets nervous at the sight of blood. I was wrong. This "Dad" proceeded to grab his daughter by the shoulders and quickly pull her all the way across the room away from us...and then stand there giving me the most awful look...pure disgust and rudeness. Thankfully Emma didn't even notice any of what happened. She was too anxious to just get her container of strawberries and water bottle from me and get back to the rest of her class in the other room eating their snacks too. I sat there on the floor putting our supplies away in my bag...I could feel my face burning...not out of was pure rage boiling inside me. I was clenching my hands so hard into fists that they still hurt well after we left there. I was at a loss...I didn't want to look up or even move at all for that matter. I was so completely dumbfounded by this man's behaviour. I have no idea what he thought...if maybe my daughter had some sort of contagious blood disease that his daughter could catch? I don't really care what he thought I guess. Aside from the obvious reasons for my anger, I was...and still am...actually very sad and upset and hurt that this ignorant man is teaching his daughter to be ignorant as well. Just continuing the cycle of stupidity. It breaks my heart because kids are not born that way....they aren't born hating others...or judging them...or not accepting differences in the world. They are taught those behaviours by their parents.
So, there I sat...waiting for my temper to calm down...waiting for the rational thinking part of my brain to kick in again. I have learned that I can't control anything or anyone else in this world other than my own actions and how I react to things. That is all I have control over. I decided to let myself be upset and sad for his little girl. I decided to let myself be greatful that Emma was oblivious to the whole situation. I decided to not try to waste my time, energy, or breath on someone like him. Instead I put away her diabetes supplies, take out my book again, and held my head high knowing that I accomplished my diabetic Momma duties for this weeks gymnastics class. That was all I could do...and that's all I did.


  1. Oh, I love your posts. You explore your experiences and definately come out healthier and stronger mentally and emotionally. You hit the nail on the head when you say that Dad is drowning in ignorance and sadly, so is the daughter, she is a product of his stupidity. Im trying to teach my kids about this world being made up of differences (not necessarily bad) but just requiring acceptance. BIG HUGS.

  2. UGH. I haven't ran into that one yet. I hope I handle it as graciously as you. I would be PISSED. Good job Mama...and I am sooo very thankful that Emma did not notice. That would have been a rough one to explain and to handle for sure.

  3. there sure are stupid people in the world! glad Emma didn't notice, i would have been furious too! we also don't hide anything d-related, no sense in our kids feeling ashamed about something that's not their fault.

  4. Right on!I made the same decision as you at diagnosis. And you know what? Since my oldest has "extra stuff" to live with, all my boys are more accepting of others. ALL others. A poor boy came into the peds office in a wheelchair and with a feeding tube. When all the other kids ran to their moms, my 2 boys shared their toys with this child and Brandan showed him that he has a tube too. :)

  5. bummer this happened but you handled it well, I probably would have gone off on the dad. I agree D should not be hidden like it is something to be ashamed of. glad emma didn't notice his actions.