Sunday, March 18, 2012

Seeking Sunday #3 - Beautifully Made

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Good Sunday Morning to you all.  Today I have 2 very special verses to share with you today and a very personal reason to share them.  Many of you know Alexis through this blog [aka Boom, Boom Boom or Lollie] and some of her daily challenges.  As a mother to this awesome little person, I experience the greatest joy on a daily basis as well as some of the deepest sorrows a mom can endure.  I'm not here today looking for sympathy... but to raise awareness to an issue I know my family is not alone with.

For the most part, Alexis has an incredible outlook on life, she loves herself and everyone around her... with immense passion, she is the most forgiving person I know.  I've talked a bit about her challenges {here},{here} and {here}.  We have made great strides building self esteem over the years but there is one thing, one ignorant action that sets a fire under Alexis [and mommy] which always sets us a few steps back. 


Alexis and mommy spent a wonderful afternoon dress shopping for the upcoming 9th grade dance next week to find a pretty dress.  It really was a glorious day for the both of us.  Alexis has recently lost 16 1/2 pounds and we couldn't be happier for her.  For the first time in her 15 years, she was having fun picking out outfits and trying them on.  Gone was the whining that usually accompanies shopping trips big and small.  She feels lighter on her feet, she feels less pain walking around, she likes the way the clothes are fitting!  Mommy was enjoying this bonding experience no matter what the cost!

Then it happened... that smile turned upside down.  The head, which had previously been held high with happiness now drooped to the floor.  An insistent panic filled her voice "Mom, mom, MOM!  Let's go... NOW!"  Grabbing my shirt she began pulling me to the nearest exit.  I immediately bent down to ask what was wrong and offer some reassurance to calm the situation.  Seems another younger child had been scoping her out... staring... and apparently taunting her. 

"What's wrong with her? ... What's wrong with her shoes? ... Why is she so FAT?"

The little girl continued to repeat these questions in loud shouts throughout the store as she intermittently bobbed her little head around the clothing racks to take yet another gander at my girl. 

What bothered me most was the parental ignorance of the situation.  When the girl approached again, I said Hello, and introduced her to Alexis.  She asked again, what was wrong with her shoes and I kindly explained.  The three women accompanying this child then countered my attempt at kindness with more ignorance towards the girl, "Why don't you just shut your little trap..." followed by some expletives. 

Parents, I implore you... start when they are young to teach tolerance and acceptance.  Teach your children kindness toward others - even if they are different in some way.  But most importantly,  when your child is curious, explain!  My children are no different than yours, we encounter people everyday who are different from us and YES they have been known to stare a time or two.  As a mother I find it my responsibility to correct my children when they do this, but not with shouts or expletives which calls further attention to the uncomfortable situation.  My children are taught to offer that stranger a hello or a wave and a smile.  It is okay to start a conversation and even ask a question or two.  This is an amazing way to TeAcH your child about the world instead of FeaRing the unknown. 

What really struck my heart was what my daughter said to me in the car ride back home.  Her knowledge is very humbling ya know. 

" I am NOT an ugly girl mom... I am beautiful. 
It is not about the face, it's about the heart!"

What she said, brought happy tears to my eyes and to this verse for Seeking Sunday from 1 Samuel 16:7

"God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart"

I know what's in her heart...

Love you all... prayers til next time!

Linking {here}


Emily said...

I can't believe that childs parents didn't talk to her about staring. My middle little guys use to do this and still does some times and we have talked on numerous occasions that it's alright to ask polite questions but not to spout the first thing that comes out of your mouth. Way to go Alexis she is beautiful!

andie jaye said...

so, this brought tears to my eyes... my heart aches for her...

sweet alexis, what a strong soul she is. send her my love.

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

Some people!! Sheesh. What a great little girl you have though, that is so inspiring that even after all that she kept her head up and confidence. Such a good mom you are :)

Amy said...

I totally agree with you that parents need to teach their child how to talk and act,escpecially in public. EMPATHY is another word people should practice,they never think what if it was my child? or relative.HUGS to you and your daughter for handling the situation with class!

MeenyMoe said...

My son was born with a birth defect and now at 13, he still feels "different" than other kids even though on the outside, he's just like everyone else. He's been made fun of and taunted and teased over the years. He knows how your Alexis must feel. Because he's "different," we have taught him to be more tolerant and open with other kids. He's very blunt, so if he sees someone he's interested in, he will say hello and ask questions. I keep a timid eye on him making sure he doesn't ask something inappropriate. I think it's natural curiosity for younger kids to stare and be curious. But you are is up to parents to teach the right way to be inquizitive and understanding. I would of had a hard time NOT saying something to those parents!! - Karen

Audrey Romano said...

Thank you for sharing this post! It brought tears to my eyes. I'm a teacher for kids with special needs and this really touched my heart. I'm so glad you take the time to encourage people to educate their kiddos (and themselves) about people who have special needs. You and your daughter are truly such strong people! Just from reading this post, I know your daughter is amazing, and is as beautiful and kind-hearted as they come. You should be so proud to have raised such an extraordinary person!

Over Yonder said...

What a wise and beautiful daughter you have! My son doesn't notice when kids/adults stare...but I do and sometimes it breaks my hear as all I see is my gorgeous son!

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