May 11, 2008
Sometimes I get it right, and others times not so much.
I don't write about it very often because it's certainly not how I want her to be represented. Every now and then she gets made fun of for it, both in person and even online (including once by a "friend" of mine, although I doubt very much that she realizes that I know who it was). But all the same, it's part of life with Schuyler's monster, and it's part of who she is. No embarrassment, no shame, just a quick word (or even a discreet "wipe your mouth" gesture) and she takes care of it. But still, it's there and we deal with it.
Yesterday, she and I were waiting to pick up some food at a Chinese restaurant. We were both sitting there sort of lost in thought, and so when she started to drool, neither of us really took notice at first. When I finally saw it and took out the ever-present napkin to quickly wipe her face, I noticed a woman sitting a few seats down from us. She was watching us without even trying to hide her gaze.
Just about this time, our food was ready. I grabbed the bag, took Schuyler's hand and stepped toward the door, giving her face one last quick wipe. As I did so, we passed the woman. She looked down at Schuyler and then back at me.
"That's disgusting," she said.
I glanced down to see that Schuyler was a few steps ahead of me and couldn't hear me. I then looked at the woman and opened my mouth.
Maybe I was going to take advantage of this possible teaching moment to educate her about kids with disabilities. Or perhaps I was going to use my quick, cutting, fancy pants authorly wit to sting her with some erudite word missile that would cause her to stop and think about her lack of sensitivity. Or maybe, just maybe, I was going to offer a kind and forgiving word or two, something to make her small Grinchy heart grow three sizes that day.
"Fuck you," I said.
We walked out quickly as she stormed into the dining room, presumedly to find a boyfriend or husband to come give me a beat down.
And here's the thing. I'd love to be able to say that as I think back on that moment, I now have a handful of intelligent responses that I wish I'd used on her. But honestly? I keep coming back to "fuck you".