Thursday, June 21, 2007

Being OUT

Shopping yesterday in Camrose, I was enjoying being out and about. I didn't tell my hosts in Camrose that the day I arrived I was feeling just on the edge of the flu or a seriuos cold. I drank tea and went to bed with a prayer that I'd be up and ready in the morning. As luck would have it morning dawned gently and I was ready for the day.

After work I even felt like doing a bit of shopping so we hit the Superstore and looked for something for dinner with the idea of shopping for a few things for friends afterwards. I noticed a little girl in a wheelchair looking at me, intensely. She wasn't doing that gobsmacked kind of stare that I get from a lot of kids, she was just really intense. I suddenly felt responsible to her in some way.

When Joe came over I joked with him a little louder than necessary and we both laughed.

See, kid, you can grow up and laugh.

Job, done, I knew she noticed. I pushed myself with more spritely energy than I felt that I had. I've always been good at turning my chair on a dime. A result of being on so many hotel elevators. So when I got to the aisle I wanted I was going a good speed, I grabbed one wheel and with a whoosh, turned the corner.

See, kid, you can have fun in the chair and even do cool moves.

I waited for Joe as he went to check to see if the store hand a particular product and I noticed that the little girl and her mom had moved to another part of the store. Still in sight, but busily doing their own thing. I smiled at my little 'performance' for her. We'd finished food shopping and Joe decided to puchase the groceries and then come back to join me in the other part of the store. Clothes and electronics and gift type stuff. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed mom and child coming. I pulled my wallet out of my pocket and handed Joe two twenties for the groceries. He looked at me oddly but took the money, who wouldn't.

See, kid, you can have money and spend it the way you want.

Then they were gone and we went about our business in the store. I don't know why I felt so good about what happened. I know she noticed me, but I don't know if she noticed, the laughter, the independance, the money ... I hope so.

She's not my kid but she's part of my community. I have a responsibility to her. I'm proud we are part of the same movement and that we share a way of being that brings us commonality. I hope she went home with more than just a few groceries.

Who knows?


lina said...

Wouldn't it be cool to read her blog some day, and read about this cool guy in a wheelchair who changed her way of thinking. God knows that guy did it for me, on more than one occasion!

andrea said...

She may not have given much thought to what she saw, but it'll still be filed away in her memory, so if someone tries to tell her "can't", she will have concrete evidence of "can and will"!

Nicole said...

I guarantee she noticed. Tarenne notices disabled people all the time and watches them. Ofcourse to her they all have T21. :)

Anonymous said...

I am sure she did.

I am glad you did it without knowing for sure if she would.