Monday, August 01, 2011

The Question

It had been a busy day, Mike, Marissa and the kids were in town. Lots was planned. First we had to pretend to like the Smurf movie (which we thought was vile) and that took a lot of energy. Second, we were shopping for shoes for two little girls who both had the Imelda Marcos gene and had to try on several pairs to get just the right one. Finally home and back into the air conditioning we began to relax.

The television was on and playing a show I was finding equally ghastly. It was one of those 'build a home for the pathetic' kind of reality things. Lots of tears, lots of wailing about people with Down Syndrome having no future and needing charity. I kept my mouth shut. Not everyone sees the world the way I do, not everyone has to hear from me all the time. I'm guessing that the television might have been left on that show because it was thought that I'd like it.

There was all sorts of chatter and activity going on to distract me. Somewhere late into the show, Ruby ended up standing beside me and watching the television. She broke gaze with the screen and looked up at me, "What's wrong with that man," she asked. I looked over and saw a man with Down Syndrome being asked to do an imitation of Elvis by a man who was loving, more than ever, being normal . There was a two part answer to Ruby's question, one about Down Syndrome and one about the fact that difference isn't wrong. So I started, 'He has Down Syndrome ...' and began to explain what that meant. After a few seconds, before I got to difference isn't wrong, Ruby spoke up. 'Not him,' she said, exaggerating the word. 'the other man, why is he talking funny like that, that other man isn't a little boy.'

Oh.

Yeah.

Right.

She's a kid. She gets it. This, is a different question. This is the right question. This is a difficult question. I said, 'You know how sometimes people are kind of weird to me because I'm in a wheelchair?' She nodded, this is something that she notices and is bothered by. 'Well, sometimes people are ...' and before I could finish she flew up into my arms and gave me a hug.

Something told me I didn't have to say anything more.

16 comments:

Tamara said...

Yes, Ruby, some people are ... patronizing, even condescending because they do not see clearly, as you do. What a girl -

Jess and Glacier said...

What an awesome kid! :)

Belinda said...

One day I hope Ruby is running the country--and something tells me that she might be.

Anonymous said...

She makes sense and loves shoes.....she has my vote!

Nan said...

You see, Ruby would sit with a friend and fool around with an I-Pad thingee and not be making a statement, but just be, well, fooling around with a friend and and I-Pad thingee. I think.

Baba Yaga said...

Ruby is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Or maybe just is a force to be reckoned with.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

Ruby really hits the nail on the head. Thanks for sharing her insights and love of shoes with us.

I think I know the show you mean and it is makes people with any difference pathetic and heroic (in the worst sense). Unfortunately in an economic system such as the one in which that show is embedded, the only way for people to get what they should be entitled to is for them to become objects of maudlin charity. And I think things just got worse.

Colleen

coffeetalk said...

God Bless Ruby!

Rosemary said...

Reading about Ruby gave me goosebumps. What a beautiful person she is. It must be awesome being part of her life and watching her blossom.

AkMom said...

I love Ruby. May she grow up to teach the world what is right!

Noisyworld said...

<3 <3 <3
I don't think I need say any more lol

ms kitty said...

bless ruby down to her boots, and may she never find an end to the compassion and heart with which she sees the world!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that Ruby can life in a world full of diversity and recognize what is really wrong with some people.

I will certainly giver her my vote too.

Julia

Anonymous said...

I am currently searching to find the right daycare. I hope that the daycare I find has a little girl like Ruby that X can learn from :)

-KR

theknapper said...

I can only imagine her reaction to Jerry Lewis!!!!

Kristine said...

Ha! Knapper, I've always liked you, because my name is also K. Napper. But I like you ten times more for that comment. :)

Actually, same goes for Ruby. I've always liked her, but I like her ten times more for her most recent comment!