“Weird” and “a little bit different”
Two descriptions I’ve had about my daughter from family members in the last few days.
Okay it reads a lot worse than it actually was – one was a description from another child who said G walked weird (like a zombie he went onto describe) and the other an adult.
But it gave me an insight into how people may see G. I am in a bubble with G she is my “normal” it’s only when she is around other children her age or younger who talk animatedly about something or run around with agility and confidence that it is highlighted to me some of her delays. But that is it to me – delays. They are things she has not fully mastered – yet- Not ‘weirdness’…
Do people feel uncomfortable around her? Do other children view her differently? Will she make friends?
I always worry about everything- what she eats, drinks, does, how she develops etc but my biggest worry is other people. How people will treat her? Will she make meaningful friendships? Will she be understood? Will she be safe? Will people take time to understand and not assume her behaviours?
She is a child now, so I can help and protect her, but as she gets older will more people think she is “weird” or “a little bit different”? Will tolerances and allowances wither away? Will she be scorned, ignored or overlooked by people – including family who don’t quite understand or feel comfortable in her uniqueness?
I had not until now considered how the family view her – I haven’t asked and won’t, time and interactions will deliver an answer.
But it is tough as she is getting older – she is not a baby any more, the cuteness and innocence slowly evolving into a young child where a different set of expectations and norms surround this older age.
Will unconscious awkwardness now begin to arise? Will I begin to see people limiting interactions as a way to not offend when my child doesn’t ‘fit’ or her ‘weirdness’ is unsettling for others?
Maybe I am thinking too deeply into how others view her…
How have your family been with your child? Were they accepted or was there resistance? Ignorance? I’d love to hear your experiences