I've been thinking about the couple at the picnic. It wasn't the couple, really, as the man didn't say anything. So I guess I've been thinking about the lady that made the comment about Lila. I've also been reading the comments that people left on my post- thanks for the feedback-and trying to figure out what I think about it all. Beth- I also try to cut older people a little slack. (Even when I'm driving which is pretty tough for me. I look at them say "Okay, you're older, you get a pass".)
Now I wish that I would have said something. Hindsight, ya know? But if I could have found the grace to turn the stroller around, maybe it would have gone something like this:
"Excuse me- I heard what you said back there. About my daughter. That she's cute and that they don't all look like that. I don't know what you meant by that but I wanted you to know that what you said was upsetting to me. I'm sure you didn't mean anything negative by what you said but it still hurt."
Then again, wouldn't that just cause her to be defensive? Would that really accomplish anything? Just so I could get that off my chest? It just seems so negative. I would say it in a nice way, I would be respectful, but still..... the words themselves, no matter how they were said, might not have the desired effect.
I just don't know. How do we educate people without making it a tense situation. Is it worth it? Obviously it is, for the sake of my daughter, and all of the people in the world that are different. I want to do the right thing next time I am put in that situation, I'm just not sure what the right thing is. Of course, I could have gone on and on about how a person with Down Syndrome, just like any other person, shouldn't be defined by their looks. And I could have said that Lila is an amazing little girl. And she's the light of our lives. And she's changed our family for the better. And she's a miracle- she wasn't even supposed to live! And she surprises us every day by how well she's doing. And on and on and on. But how much time do you take? And how much will you get to say before the other person stops listening?
I don't have the answers. I wish I did. I'd love to have a quick comeback that is non-confrontational, effective and respectful. I think the delivery is as important as the message itself. Obviously if you are trying to think of a reply, something has been said that got under your skin a little. So what's most important- to let the person know that they upset you or to educate them? Is there a way to do both?