Sometimes I worry about myself. I think I may be losing my grip on reality! The fact that I talk to my four legged fur kids is one indicator. The fact that I draw inspiration from them is another!
I have a miniature schnauzer named Emmy Rose. Miss Emmy believes that she is the princess of our home and to be quite honest, she is treated like royalty. She loves our other pets as long as they are not near her momma (aka me!) It also helps that she is the baby and the others are content to have “alone time” while she hogs the attention. Well, last week we acquired a Siamese kitten and welcomed havoc to our “normal” home. Emmy was not too sure of this new little creature especially since everyone was doting on Tai Chi (yes, that’s the new little guy’s name! lol) She tried to chase him away but found out quickly that that kitty has claws! The days are now filled with cat and dog chases up and down the hall, on the couch and under the tables. They are getting along, but still have a little wariness between them.
And then it happened! As I was making coffee this morning I looked down to see the oddest sight. There was my little Tai drinking from Emmy’s water bowl…and Emmy was drinking from it too! That is the surest sign that my princess has accepted our new arrival into our family.
As I watched these two different species get along so amicably, I had a light bulb moment: Do we accept others that are different from us or do we avoid them? For most of you this probably brings to mind different races, different nationalities, and so forth. But what was brought to my mind was how children treat other children. Whether our child is accepting of others begins inside our very own homes.
I grew up with an aunt that had Down’s syndrome. To me, there was nothing “wrong” with her. I accepted her as she was and expected nothing more. I knew she was different from me, but that was just Aunt Betty. I learned acceptance and I passed this on to my own children. We have friends from different nationalities and races. As a matter of fact, my step-daughter married a Mexican gentleman and they have two of the most precious children ever! The word “retard” was considered a taboo word in our home and no matter what you might be thinking, you never stared at someone who looked different!
When Caleb became ill, the roles were reversed. It was a tough realization for me (and our daughter Alana) to see others that did not have the tolerance our family has. When we take Caleb out and about, children and adults stare like they have never seen a child in a wheelchair before. Some look at us with such sadness while others are just curious. I have found that in general, it is harder for the parents of Caleb’s friends to accept this “new” Caleb than it is for his friends. When we visited the school last year I was so amazed at the intelligent questions these nine year olds asked! I was even more impressed at the ideas they were coming up with as to how they could communicate with Caleb as he is now. Maybe it was because these children had been classmates of Caleb’s and knew him before this illness. I like to believe that it is because children have a loving and accepting nature about them. And as long as tolerance and acceptance is taught in the home, there is always hope for the future!
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. – Isaiah 11:6
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