I see you. I know you’re talking about me and mine. I’m not the negligent, lazy mom who simply tunes it all out. I’m busting my butt to keep things socially appropriate. At least some of you have the grace to look ashamed when you realize one of my daughters has Down syndrome. But that’s beside the point.
Not one of you sprang into existence as fully formed adults. I have no doubt that your beginnings involved just as much snot and noise and dirty diapers as any of my kids. You were no less human then. You had just as much right to exist in this world.
Airplanes, restaurants, waiting rooms, museums, stores… I’ve felt your irritated glares in all these places. And I used to feel badly, shush more loudly, work harder to contain and dance faster to avoid stepping on your toes. But I’m sick of it. This is life – my children and I deserve to be part of it too.
We’re here. We’re loud (though we’re learning to use our inside voices). And we’re not going anywhere. Deal with it.
Someday you are going to be grumpy without your nap. Someday you will speak overly loudly and inappropriately. Someday you will gum your food and spill half of it on the way to your mouth. Someday you won’t quite make it to the bathroom.
Your lack of patience and understanding just might bite you in the ass when that someday inevitably comes. Ageism isn’t so appealing when the shoe’s on the other foot.
Why should the same children you barely tolerate now put themselves out for you? Why not stash you where you don’t offend the eyes or the senses with your inconvenient humanity? After all, who wants to be bothered with messy and smelly and troublesome? Why not simply hire a caregiver to keep you out of sight and out of mind for the rest of your days?
Karma’s a bitch, people.
So here’s me, and in my circles we call this “reaping what you sow.” Just sayin’.
This is my contribution to the Daily Press writing challenge. Answering the question: How do you feel about children in adult-oriented places?
Assuming we’re not talking about bars, R-rated movies or adult-only resorts, my vote in the poll was: “Kids are people too. They should be welcome where adults are.” What do you think?