When My Preteen Daughter Started Using A Wheelchair, People Began To Treat Her Differently
When I was pregnant, I remember being appalled by the audacity of people who would freely comment on my growing belly. “You're so big,” they'd coo. Or they'd just reach out and pet me, as if I were an animal. And I'd squirm, uncomfortably. Because normalized or not, it's wildly inappropriate and awkward. Then once my daughter was born I remember being even more appalled that strangers would try and tell me how to parent her. “Put that baby down” they'd say, as they saw her on my chest in a wrap. Or, “she's too big for that,” as she nursed at a year. And worst of all, people would touch her, without first asking me. But, as she grew up, the unsolicited advice tapered and fewer and fewer hands reached for her. And it was a relief. We'd reached the point where our autonomy was respected and our space was ours.
Then, a seizure took my daughter's mobility. Resulting in her becoming dependent upon her wheelchair. And like that, we traveled back 10 years.
Again, people feel entitled to comment...
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