I like taking my girls to the park at Heritage because it has the splash pad as well as having a handicapped accessible playground. This playground is great for Josie because it has a ramp and small steps and things she can reach. I also want my children to be exposed to ALL kinds of people and learn how to react and treat any people who are different from them: different races, different in appearance, or different in mental state. I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable around anyone or treat anyone weirdly. People are beautiful. Period.
Yesterday at Heritage Park, I saw a mom who had brought her special needs boy out to play. He was maybe 10 and seemed so happy! I smiled at her and kept an eye on Josie (Elizabeth tends to run around and she was everywhere, but as long as I can see her I don’t panic.; it’s free-range parenting by default). At one point, Josie was on a rocking boat thingamabob and the boy came over. He was obviously enamored with Josie and just wanted to explore a little. She was shy, but nothing dangerous was happening and I was there keeping an eye on things. His mother came running over and called him away, apologizing the whole time.
Dear Mom at the Park:
I wish you had introduced your son. I would have been happy to talk with you and him and let my kids get to know him a little. I also wish to tell you that there were no apologies necessary: he did not do anything wrong. He didn’t do anything I haven’t seen preschoolers do when seeing Josie for the first time. I’m sorry you felt you had to apologize for him and I’m sorry you felt you had to pull him away; if it was anything I had done to make you feel that way, I’m sorry for that, too. If I see you in the future, I will take the time to say hello and make sure you know how wonderful your son is and how wonderful you are.