Sunday, June 02, 2013

Going Pee

He was only maybe 18 or 19. He stood, holding the bathroom door, while I became increasingly frustrated at trying to make the turn in. No matter what I did, I just couldn't make the turn. I believed, in my head, it was because he was standing there watching me struggle. He was calm, he wasn't in a rush, he just held the door. I asked him to go by as I didn't want to take up his time. He said he wasn't in a rush and continued to hold the door.

A couple more attempts and I was beginning to consider the merits of just pissing myself. Then he said, calmly and supportively,"Look, you need me to hold the door open, I'm OK with that, I'm not in  a rush, just take a breath and think it through." I did as he said, took the legs off the chair, handed them to him to hold, and I easily slid in. He handed me the legs back, I put them on, out is easier than in with these kinds of turns, and thanked him.

He was going over to the sink to wash his hands. I thanked him again. He said, "No problem, there were a couple of kids with disabilities in my class in school. It's no big deal to need help, it's no big deal to give it. Lots of times they helped me out too."

I'm so choked, I can't say more.

14 comments:

Glee said...

:) Hopefully, the times they are a changin' :)

krlr said...

And that is why inclusion is worth the fight. Thank you.

Tamara said...

Experience is the best educator. I think inclusion will bring the biggest changes - in attitude and behavior.

Lisa Gleeson said...

This is why it's so important that the kids I teach are in the public schools and included as much as possible from prek on up. It may take us generations to create the kind of society we need but it's well worth it.
Lisa

Anonymous said...

THAT is one big reason that I like the fact that my 12-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome has attended our neighborhood school since kindergarten. Most of her schoolmates are pretty much used to her and no one pays too much attention to her "quirks". The vast majority (with a few notable exceptions) are incredibly nice to her and don't mind her self-talk, too loud talking, or laughing at things that would mortify most 12-year-old girls. It's quite simply NOT a big deal to them.

Debbie (NJ)

clairesmum said...

lovely, just lovely....there is hope, and this is why it matters to keep trying - for awareness, for action, for inclusion - to be no better and no worse than any one else - all equally valuable, all unique, all wonderful.

i think this entry, plus the previous one about the waitress, and one of the examples of ignorance/rudeness (you have many to choose from, sad to say) would make a great written 'triptych' of sorts- a way to show what you mean when you talk about exclusion.

thanks for your writing, Dave.

CL said...

Beautiful story.

I have found that "I'm not in a rush" is a powerful statement that can change an interaction. In service situations, for example, people expect customers to be impatient if they have to wait at all. When they apologize, I always say "Oh, I'm not in a rush" and I can see them relax as they realize that I'm not angry or frustrated.

Webster said...

Dave, I often think that allowing someone to help is giving them a gift. Most people who want to help feel good when allowed to do it. Isn't that a gift? To allow some one to do something that makes them feel good about themselves?

M.Prosk said...

Beautiful Dave. Allow yourself to believe that these people are out there, everywhere.

Kristine said...

True story, CL! People do seem to show some visible relief when I say, "It's ok, I'm not in a hurry." We all just need to stop rushing around all the time.... :)

Ettina said...

I often think inclusion does more to benefit the 'normal 'kids than the included disabled kid. This guy is a fine example of that.

Hannah Ensor said...

Awesome. Love his attitude.

Anonymous said...

Why are/were you choked? Or choked up?

Jayne Wales said...

There are times when my heart just bursts with feeling good and when young people just do things so naturally and easy like that I feel proud of the young people that they are. I don't know why I should feel proud but I do. It's like I'm proud to be a human and proud that they are human too!!
When my own son just does something so simply, without thinking about it, just gets on with it I want to give him a million hugs. I don't because he would not see why he should have them. But every now and then I just look at him and thank him for being" you". And he nods and shrugs a bit like anyone who is 16.