Thanks for nothing
Posted Jun 11, 2016 by Jacquie Robison
About a week ago, I had Sofia along with me to do some errands.
Characteristically, she was chatting away — sharing stream of consciousness thoughts (“I am spending a lot of time trying to figure out why hiccups go away when you get scared”) and commenting on her ideas for careers (“I want to be an inventor when I grow up, and the first thing I’m going to create is ‘best guess spelling’ for Scrabble”).
At several points in the day, she engaged in conversation with people around us; she told the grocery store clerk that she really liked her sparkly earrings and a young mother approached us at lunch and asked Sofia where she got her shirt with the ballerina on it, because her own daughter would like one. It was a fun, productive day.
As I was getting her settled in bed, I asked Sofia her favorite part of our adventures together. She quieted and finally said, ‘Well, there were lots of fun things about our day, but the best was that no one asked me about my cane.’ I blinked. It hadn’t registered with me. She had stepped around with the help of her cane all day, and I couldn’t remember a day when someone hadn’t asked about it. Some with kindness, others less-so. Or worse, people stare at her and her cane and then look away. And the thing is, Sofia has rarely commented about it one way or the other.
But, the simple fact of her noticing the absence, made me realize that it makes an impact. She felt the difference in being seen as just the little girl she is, not the little girl with a cane, and it made her day. You all made her day. You chatted, you smiled and you asked her about things. Not one of those chats or questions was about her cane. You said nothing about it.
Thanks for nothing.