We'd just settled for a cup of tea in the mall. We had a dinner date with Manuela, the Executive Director of Vita (ie, my boss) and Amy Tabor from Alabama (the presenter we'd brought in to speak about rights) in an hour or so and were killing time. Both Joe and I love people watching and it was a fine day for doing just that. We were chatting about the day we had with self advocates, a wonderful session, and I was outlining to Joe what my upcoming blog posts were going to be. It's not uncommon for me to say to Joe, 'Today was a two blog day' ... it's a new yardstick in measuring a day.
Then we saw him. And melted. He couldn't have been more than two or three, a cute little blond boy, riding along in a stroller. His eyes were bright with the wonder of the mall, he glanced at everything ... you could almost see him learning. His mother stopped to look at something and he twisted around to catch a glimpse of her. He smiled at her with pure, unadulterated, love. I believe the love of children is the most mature form of love there is ... and it's lovely to see.
Why am I telling you about him?
He wore these amazing hearing aids. Each tucked behind an ear with the plug solidly in place. So what, big deal.
Well it was a big deal.
Because they were bright cobalt blue!
These weren't shy, flesh toned creations.
These weren't the 'please don't notice my hearing aid' devises.
These were AREN'T MY FRIGGING HEARING AIDS COOL!!!! These were as 'in your face' as you could get. I didn't know that you could accessorize self esteem, but it seems that you can.
This is a kid being raised with difference celebrated, with disability unbowed. This is a kid being reared without shame, without pretense, without denial.
This was a beautiful boy who is going to grow into a proud man.
No wonder he loves his mother.
No wonder at all.