Today I was holding Liam in the waiting room at his therapy practice when a sweet little boy kept staring at him. I would look at the little boy and he would grin back at me. After several shared smiles he finally gained the nerve to ask me, "What's wrong with him?"
Liam has so many issues that scream, I'M UNIQUE that it kind of makes me surprised we haven't gotten it before now.
I had prepped in my head for a while now what I would say when that question came up. But wouldn't you know I lost all ability to respond the way I wanted to? So I just smiled back at him and he smiled at me and turned back to the movie playing quietly on the opposite side of the room.
No matter that I didn't answer, this cute little boy was not done with his curiosity. He looked back around to us and smiled again when I caught his eye. He pointed at Liam and asked me again, "What's wrong with him?"
This time I was able to get the words out. Ready to explain, I asked him if he knew how he gets a boo-boo. He nodded his head yes. Then I told him that Liam has a boo-boo too but his is on the inside and you can't see it. I told him it was in his head. I started to go more into what the boo-boo means for Liam specifically, but with his curiosity satiated, he turned back around and glued his eyes to the movie for the remainder of our time in the waiting room.
I actually ended up disappointed that I didn't get to go into further detail to this little boy. I wanted him to ask more questions so I could give more answers. I wanted him to know that it was ok to be curious, that Liam wasn't something to be afraid of. He wasn't something to look past and pretend wasn't there. I wanted him to know that his curiosity was a good thing and that it's the only way people will see special needs kids as equals is if they learn more about them. I wanted him to know what was 'wrong' with Liam.
The natural curiosity of a child is a beautiful thing. It's how we will raise the newest generation to appreciate and value differences in all of God's children. Sowing into kids the worth of each person no matter their abilities will bring about adults who don't stare and ask, "What's he have?".