I'm not sure I'll ever get used to it...the feeling that wherever we go people are looking at us. I know, I sound incredibly "junior high", but come with me sometime and you'll see. When we take Lilah anywhere in her wheelchair, the sea of people part and everyone does a double take...trying to figure out what's up with this sweet little girl in a wheelchair. I can almost see the thoughts in their head, "oh. is she? well, maybe? i don't know. poor little thing." Because while she doesn't look obviously disabled, she is starting to look less and less 'normal', if only because she doesn't engage with those around her.
I'm pretty sure it's not all in our minds, because we aren't sensitive about Lilah or her wheelchair. I know people mean well, that their stares are curious and genuine, not at all judgmental...but it still makes us feel, well, watched. And, somedays, I just want to fade in the background...not having strangers study my family's every move.
I am guilty of it too. Months ago, when I was leaving the mall, I saw a young man in a chair and he was leaving alone. I watched him head toward his truck and was so darn curious about how that was going to work that I couldn't quit staring. I watched, like a stalker, eyeing this man's every move. And, then I sat there in my car and wept, because, while he managed to get in his truck, attach his chair to a lift, and swing it into the truck bed, it wasn't an easy deal...he'd had to work so hard to just get 'in his vehicle'.
Anyway, my point is, that's why people stare...they are curious. And, it's not bad....I think it must be an encouragement to see such a little thing, usually with a smile on her face, trying to push herself around. (fyi, if you are a starer, please smile at my child). And surely, they are a bit more thankful for so many things that they take for granted. So, as with many other things along this journey, I'm just going to have to grow thicker skin, and not leave my house without my lipstick.:)