I think it's pretty amazing and special how children are so much more accepting of things than adults. At what point do we reach in our lives that forces us to become jaded, judgemental, or even discriminatory? Is it the events that occur in our personal lives that cause this to happen? Is it one particular moment or a series of them that flip the switch on that inner child and silence it? I think that a good portion of a parents day is dedicated to making sure that their children play nice with others, share, behave, and get along with their peers. We want to teach them to be these kind and caring individuals that play fair......and yet so many of us do not practice what we preach.
Over the past month or so, I have read things from people who have children that just astound me. One mother actually argued that she thought it was ridiculous for schools to ban peanuts "just because there is one child in the school with an allergy"....she said that it was unfair to the rest of them...they should be allowed to bring peanut butter sandwiches to school...the child with the allergy should just be taught to be more careful and not go near the kids eating peanut butter. Yea.....true story. This woman is a mother.
To say I was shocked and disappointed would be an understatement.
Today I went on a field trip with Emma and her school to a "Plowing Match"...lots of tractors, farm life, animals, etc. It was in a huge location outdoors and we were there for the entire school day. I was put in charge of Emma and two other girls from her class. We were all left to our own devices...to roam about as we pleased, eat when we wanted to, see what we wanted to....and just return to the exit in time to board the bus back to school at the end. The two girls that were with us have known Emma since she started junior kindergarten at school 4 years ago. They have seen countless needles, fingerpokes, and pump boluses. They know what Emma looks like and acts like when she is having a low blood sugar. They know that she needs to pause and step aside at certain times of the day to check her blood sugar. They know that she has to do all of these things....and they don't mind at all.
Think back to when you were 8 yrs old, if you were given free reign in an open field for the entire day....to run in the mud, play, do and see what you wanted.....would you want to stop for another kid just so she could check her blood sugar? I think it's pretty amazing that these kids who are growing up with Emma are not only learning right along with her...........but they are accepting it.....they are seeing it as a normal thing. It is just another part of the day for them and they do not see her as different or an annoyance because of the diabetes tasks she has to do every day. It's the way things are......it just IS.
I think we as parents need to take a step back and attempt to open that door that we have closed our inner child behind. We as role models need to practice what we preach and teach our kids through our actions as well as our words. We need to do this before our kids grow up and reach that point in their lives where they lose that inner child ability to accept things for what they are....and accept others for who they are no matter what life has thrown their way.