I always notice the looks and stares. They come from everywhere; some quizzical, some with an all knowing smile, and some with looks of pitty. Every once in a while the stares coming from a child or a group of children. It is times like this that I am thankful that Jenelle is not aware of it at all.
When a child asks questions about Jenelle, I always try to answer them to the best of my ability in a way to make the child understand Jenelle. For children under age 5, this could be answered simply by saying "she has a broken brain." But perhaps as Jack gets older, our audience gets older as well. The questions are more in depth. I try to answer them all, but sometimes I'm just not feeling it. Last night was one of those times.
We were watching the Championship Game for the 8 year old Division of Little League. The side lines were packed for this exciting game, and children were running everywhere. I stood with Brett on the side lines while Jenelle quietly sat in her wheelchair doing her usual things; playing with her hair, making noises, and/or batting at the toy piano we brought along. She was very much in her own world and oblivious to the game.
Suddenly, I noticed a group of four younger girls sitting a few feet in front of Jenelle. It was not hard to miss them. They had their backs to the game, and their eyes staring at Jenelle. I thought to myself that they were probably the same age, and probably wondering what was "wrong" with Jenelle. And as they sat, I could see they were gaining confidence, and ready to pounce on me with questions at any second.
Normally, I would welcome questions and answer them best I could, but last night was different. I just wasn't feeling it. I wanted to enjoy the game. And just as they stood up to approach me, I grabbed the handle of Jenelle's wheelchair and walked away. As I did this, they followed me with a quickness in their step. I laughed to myself as I realized I was being chased. Then one little girl screamed out, "Why does she have to sit in that?" I ignored her, and finally found refuge with another parent I knew, and then the girls left us alone.
I felt horrible, but at the same time annoyed. I know their parents wouldn't have answers any better than the ones I would have. But I just wasn't feeling it. Feeling miserable, I confessed to the parent about what I had done, and he smiled and said, "I'll bet you get that a lot, and it's OK not to answer sometimes."
I'm sure this will get harder as the kids get older. And in any other situation I am all for anyone asking questions. But to be bombarded by four, 5 year old girls while trying to enjoy a Little League game was just to much. I will give that lesson some other day. And it's OK. I'm human that way.