Saturday, May 22, 2010

An Arrow Hits the Heart

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I contemplated whether I should write today, for my feelings are raw, my thoughts sharp, but my heart simply wounded. But in all fairness this is what life can be like, it's an honest account of our days.

I should have known today would have presented a challenge. I felt it in the wind, I heard it whisper to me, but I did my best to ignore it's warnings. We went early this morning to get Noah a haircut. Haircuts for him are really no big deal. He really only complains when you spray his hair to wet it, and if he hears a blow-dryer. All things considering I have always believed he's done a marvelous job at allowing his hair to be cut.

We checked in and asked for our last hairdresser that had cut Noah's hair the time before. She shouted out to us as she was finishing the her current customer, "I just can't deal with you today." I knew what she meant. It could have been taken a million different ways, but I understood she didn't want to deal with Noah because he has challenges. My heart sank, I said that's fine whoever would cut his hair would be fine. He landed with a lady that seemed disinterested in the task, as if her number were up or she drew the short straw. I didn't even get her name. All the while I could feel the stares cling to us from the staff soon also catching the attention of other customers. Noah of course fussed more than usual this time, probably picking up on his mother's feelings, choking back the pain not to disclose my heartache.

We paid and quickly left, still with all eyes on us even as we walked out the door. We went around the corner to the store to get tea for Chris' work lunches. Ironically at the check-out was the same hairstylist that refused to cut Noah's hair. She wouldn't even look at us - especially him, and then I knew it was confirmed. It's was most certainly because Noah was different. Not because she was too busy, or needed to go on lunch break.

Noah is not contagious. You can't catch what he has. He's just a little boy. A precious little boy. My little boy. He cannot help that he has a brain injury. I absorbed the pain for both of us, as I'm thankful he didn't understand what happened today. They say you can only allow people so much power to make you feel a certain way. I understand that, believe me I do. But sometimes practicing that theory is harder than it sounds. Actions hurt, words hurt, stares hurt and being denied having someone cut your child's hair because he has a disability hurts.

How is it that people have such fear and unkindness towards those that are different in any way? Perfection is all that is rewarded, all that is seen. Anything less is discarded like trash.

I held my composure, feeling the tears I refused to let flow all the while burning my eyes on the way home. I called my mother so she could come help me as I had to take one of my dogs to the vet for a foot injury that needed medical attention. She of course asked me how Noah's haircut went and the tears that had been so forced back just flowed as I stood in the garage, and I just sobbed to her my pain over what happened. My heart had been shot with an arrow. And I was bleeding from the inside. How am I going to protect Noah from such cruelty if it is already present when he's only seventeen months old? What do I say if he notices the stares and understands the words? How do I fix that part for him? How can I nurse him through the wounds that he'll acquire at the hands of others?

"Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings." - Helen Keller