I see you staring at my child. You might be a bit uncomfortable at first glance and probably feel like you should turn your head so as not to seem rude …..
DON’T, please don’t look away. Look us in our eyes.
We are quite a spectacle. We travel with a posse, tubes everywhere, alarms beeping, me poorly navigating her wheelchair into door frames and over peoples toes, we literally enter a room with bells and whistles. If you aren’t looking at us, I know you are avoiding us. We can’t go anywhere unnoticed.
Please don’t look away! Give us a genuine smile; some days I could use it.
It’s going to take you a second to take it all in. You will see a wheelchair, a ventilator, a pulse ox, a very loud suction machine, a feeding pump and a little girl attached to all of it. The little girl might be drooling a little or blowing raspberries in protest of being in her wheelchair. She has a tube coming out of her throat to help her breathe.
But please, don’t look away! Wave at my sweet girl.
Look at us a moment longer to get to the best part! Next you will see a head full of golden curls, deep blue eyes and the longest eyelashes ever. If she isn’t wearing a mask, you will see a huge smile on her face because she’s in a room full of opportunity for interaction. She wants you to look at her, she wants you to see her, and she wants you to smile at her. I want your smile also because she is my precious daughter and I am so so proud to show her off.
So please don’t look away! Come tell her hi and tell her that she’s beautiful; she’s probably waiting for it.
My sweet girl doesn’t know she’s different, but she does know she loves other kids, being smiled at, being spoken to and interaction with anyone and everyone. You wouldn’t ignore the baby waving at you from the shopping cart at the grocery store, so please don’t turn away from mine. My biggest fear is not her being stared at, but at her being ignored. She won’t know why you won’t look at her when she’s trying to get your attention.
Please don’t look away!
Lead by example and show your children how to interact with someone who has a disability.
Learn to look past the equipment and differences straight into the face of the little 4 year old wanting your smile and attention.
Learn to not be afraid.
She needs to feel accepted, so please don’t look away.
Chrissy Solice grew up in Slidell where she now resides with her two daughters, Lena and Norah. Since Norah was born in 2016, Chrissy has found a passion for advocacy for Norah’s special needs and complex medical care. Through the years, Chrissy and her family have spent months at CHNOLA and have become part of their family. With her daughters being her biggest blessing, she hopes to shed light on the way children with disabilities are viewed and accepted in the community.