Saturday, January 11, 2014


OK - what would YOU have done? It seems whenever we are in public there is nearly always one comment or question about the big B word. You know - the word everyone is afraid to actually say - Blind. Education of the public is fine. We are a conspicuous family - a silver haired caucasian mom with three adorable eight year old Asian girls, one of whom is blind. In a small, rural community.

We were at the grocery store in the self check line. A little guy of about 6 left his mom's register and was getting in our faces trying to look at my daughter's eyes. I was in a hurry to check out and get out so I really didn't even notice him for a bit, other than another little body in front of me. It finally dawned on me that he was REALLY eying my daughter. He finally said "what's wrong with her?".

My teeth automatically ground down and I had to force a smile and pause for composure. "There is nothing wrong with my daughter. Are you asking about her eyes?" "uh-huh" (articulate little fella - not) (and where is his mother, anyway?????) "My daughter is blind and her eyes don't work the same as yours." He left and we got busy with finishing our checkout.

Then I noticed that he was back, more in her face than before. hee hee - this was probably not my best moment, but I got in his face at his shrimp level and said "you asked your question, I answered you, and now you are being rude. Go to your mother", I smiled, turned and we waltzed off.

Would you care to share some of your words that you use to answer the B question?


Erin J said...

That is a tough one! And it always comes when I'm late for something or juggling bags of groceries or dealing with a little one bouncing off the wall or something.

We get the "Is she blind?" question some. A cheerful "Yep!" usually does the trick.

Younger kids do the "what is wrong with her eyes?" like you got. I usually say something like "her eyes don't see, so she uses her hands and her cane and her ears and her memory to do things. Isn't that cool?"

For my own sanity, I keep a Twitter feed where I can write snarky replies to people who say stupid stuff about blindness. If I can laugh about it, then it ceases to bother me.

Some of my favs:

Did you know that a spinach-pineapple smoothie will help her see better? #miraclecure458

People use a cane made out of glass and tapping that on the ground helps them hear everything around them. #imaginarygear

I knew this girl who was blind when I was growing up... #IknewthisgirlwhowassightedwhenIwasgrowingup

Is she... uhhh... you know? #BLIND #notabadword

You're such a saint for taking her in. #gusher #offensive #mykidissobrokensheneedsaSaint

acceptance with joy said...

I don't have a blind child so I have nothing to offer except I thought your answer was spot on!! The kid got his answer.... he didn't need to gawk and if he didn't know he was being rude then he learned something.

Faye said...

I agree with Erin J and I think it always depends on where I am and what I am doing with respect to how I "educate" the public. I image you're quite a sight with 3 eight-year-old Chinese girls... I can relate! I think we're quite a sight, 2 Caucasian adults, one with a guide dog in hand, with 2 Chinese kids, one with a cane in hand.

Questions don't really both me, especially from kids... I think they're genuinely curious, so that's okay. I'm okay with questions from adults, except when they just dig and dig and dig! "Is the little boy, you know, sight impaired?" "Yes, he's blind." "Did you know that when you adopted him?" "Yes." "Really, wow! He's so lucky to have you! Is your husband blind too?" "Yes." "You must be a saint! Did you get a discount on your adoption?" Enough!

Given that you were in a rush, I think the way you handled the situation was fine.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Big Momma...Was checking out the blog when the email I had for you bounced back. Liked Erin J's response....with kids I'd always aim for a teaching moment & draw them to God....his grace and his blessings. He equips each of us uniquely to minister to others and Love on them as Christ would. How do I get word to you now??? I have same email & phone number. Give me a buzz. Tell Monte hi & the "kids". Love, Ms. Liz