The Mighty Logo

When 2 Women Whispered About Us in the Park

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

The following blog was written by a mother in the perspective of her child. 

I was talked about today. Well, actually, they whispered.

We went to the park to tire out my noisy sister. Mom and I had been on the swings together and she had helped me have fun on the big slide. After we had some fun she put me back in my wheelchair-pram — it was time for her to have some fun with my sister.

My pram was at the edge of the park, and Mom and my noisy sister were on the swings.

Some ladies were there. They were having fun at the park, too. They talked about me, asking each other, “Do you know Dexter?” And then, standing between Mom and I, they started whispering.

We don’t know what they said.

Maybe, they were talking about how much fun I had been having and how well I was doing at holding my head up. Maybe they were talking about my cool bike and the trips to the park I make on it. Maybe they were talking about my efforts at walking.

We know they talked about my preschool because we heard that word.

Maybe, they were talking about how cool I looked, like a Ninja Turtle, or they might have been talking about my cool preschool paintings.

We’re not sure what they were talking about because they started whispering. But we were right there.

They didn’t say hello.

They didn’t smile.

They didn’t even look at Mom.

We get looked at, pointed at and talked about all the time.

Every day.

We’re getting used to it… a little bit. But the whispering? The whispering hurt.

We left the park not much after they started their whispering. And, when we left, Mom had a little tear in her eye.

I was recognized by some other people today. It was earlier in the day. The lady and the man knew me from preschool. They have a child who goes to the same school.

My preschool friend’s mom recognized us. She told her husband I was there.

Mom didn’t know them and I don’t have the words to tell her. But, she recognized the other mom as soon as she smiled. The man turned around and gave Mom a big smile too, then he called me a preschool friend and smiled again.

That made Mom smile.

Thank you for saying, “Hi.”

A hello and a smile is always nicer than a whisper. Whispers hurt.

A version of this post originally appeared on Love Dexter.

Want to end the stigma around disability? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

Originally published: May 4, 2015
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home