I had a conversation today. Not really a conversation. Someone sitting next to me whispered it to me. If she had said it loud and if I had been at the table across the room, I would stood up and give her a piece of my mind.
You see, there are normal children. And there are special children. I had been down that path once. So, I probably have more empathy and less tolerance to those who are ignorant.
Normal children are normal. Special children come in all forms. Hyperactive, autistic, slow development, spastic and many more.
Once, Dr. Cheang warned me my fourth son, Vincent may have some spastic problems. At that time, I can’t even tell a spastic from a retarded child. I do not know how the brain and the limbs work. All I know is a child is cacat, that’s it.
So, he explained to me about spastic, which is problems with the limbs and etc. And he also told me about slow development, which is problem with the brain. At that time, Vincent was about 5-6 months old and they had scanned his brain and did a lot of MRI and stuffs. BTW, did I tell you that each time Vincent need those x-rays and MRI, Dr. Cheang would put on the jacket and bagged him because he said it is his duty. (vincent was on oxgyen but they cannot use the oxygen tank in the MRI room, hence, they need manual pumping)
I offered to let myself be the guinea pig and expose myself to the radiation but he said, No, it is his duty. I was sooo touched with a doctor in a private hospital who didn’t ask some other nurses to do so. (anyway, I am not a medical staff so I cannot handle the bagging)
After that piece of news, I braced myself to handle a spastic child, a brain retardation child, a child dependant on ventilator, any child because I am the kind who jumped in and hold the bulls by the horn. To me, I only see the good sides of Vincent. I bought books, I asked people on where to find special school for him. How to start all those physio massage etc to make sure his limbs didn’t get hardened etc etc. That’s also when I started to get closer to Christianity because many of the books on handling special child is Christianity based.
I also got to know mothers in the States who are willing to provide me an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. So, I can say that I was exposed to the prospect of being a mother to a special child for a lifetime.
But, Vincent died. When he was seven months old.
Today, one supposedly mature person told me this. Why did the parents of those learning difficulties children send the kids to join other normal children. I was like ‘what the fcuk?’ but I was at this so-called holy place and the f word doesn’t come out, of course.
So, I told her nicely, Well….Jesus never turned away anyone who comes to Him. I think we shouldn’t close our doors to these parents.
She said, “Well, why should we babysit for them? These kids disrupt the whole class.”
If she had said that loudly in public and I was at the other end of the table, I would have screwed her there and then. But then, it was a private whisper and I decided I will not waste my breath.
Screw her. The reason I didn’t volunteer to take care of small kids is because I have enough of my own. But if I had been in her class, I would have embraced that special child and make sure I gave my all to only one. If I have to take care of just one, instead of the whole class of about 30 kids, I would do it.
Because morally, that’s what we are called to do. Be there for the one, because the 99 can take care of themselves. How could this woman even think that the parents are just taking the easy way out of dropping their kids for one hour? Doesn’t this woman feel any sympathy at all that the parents have to live with that kid (who cried and cannot sit, cannot learn a thing) forever? If she had find it hard to handle, then, speak up and work for a solution. Get these special kids to go into smaller group.
My God, I wonder if God gets so terribly frustrated that though some people may hear His reminders every single day, yet, they don’t see the real meaning. How many occasion have we encountered in the Bible that shows Jesus stopping in His track to attend to the bleeding woman, the paraplegic, the blind man, the mute man, the possessed man….Did Jesus ever said, “Go away, you are disrupting my mission.”
*bangs head on the wall*