Lately I’ve felt like it’s my job to explain why I have one leg. I feel like I should teach kids about differences and how my “disability” doesn’t really change my life.
Example: I’m swimming at the YMCA last week. I knew that swim lessons would be coming in at 10, so I made sure I was there early to get in my laps. My goal was to be finished before the kids ever came in. Of course, I forgot to factor in the getting ready time for the kids, so I was geting out as they were coming in. I’m walking around the pool, in my swimsuit, my hot pink swim cap and a ziplock bag full of swimming stuff (and no one feels cute in a cap and racing suit. No one. Wise words given to me by my friend Brett when we were at summer camp one summer. He was so right). But, there I am, walking through them. And I hear the comments about me having one leg.
“That lady has one leg!”
“Does she swim?”
“I bet she swims in circles!”
“I bet a shark got her!” (that’s right, oh future senator, a shark got me in a chlorine pool)
So, I think to myself that I should take this moment and teach them. That I should make sure they know that it’s not okay to practically yell at me that I have one leg, because I know this. That they shouldn’t stare and gawk. But, it is okay to be curious. To ask questions (politely and respectfully).
Instead I kept walking. You know what? It’s not always my job to educate everyone (kids or adults). I can be private.
And it’s okay.