Recently I received an interesting comment in regards to one of my posts and I thought it would be a perfect question to discuss in From Where I Sit.
Although there was a lot more detail within the question (You can read the whole thing here in the comment section of the blog post.), the basis of the question was simple; was/is my hubby ever teased because I'm in a wheelchair?
I have to admit that my first reaction to this question was actually being offended. Why would someone make fun of my hubby because of being married to me? The best part is, that evening he and I were out at dinner and I brought this reader's comment up to him. The reaction he gave without even one slight hesitation again reconfirmed why I love him so much. What was his magical response?
"No, but if someone ever did I'd punch their teeth down their throat. If anything I think people would make fun of you being with me."
Here is the thing. My hubby and I don't focus on my disability. He doesn't coddle me like a baby. He doesn't treat me any different than he would if I were walking instead of rolling next to him. He treats me like a normal person, because that is what I am.
I do think because we don't focus on the differences in our marriage, the world around us doesn't either. I will tell you this though. When I describe to people the help my hubby gives me each day the response I usually get is almost always, "Wow, what an amazing man!"
Now don't get me wrong; I know he is amazing and I wholeheartedly agree with their statement. Although I do agree, that same statement makes me feel like I am a charity case. Like, "Oh he is so amazing for marrying a person with your challenges."
What I really want to say instead of my normal, "Yes, he's a keeper," is, "Well you know, he has his quirks that I deal with in our marriage too. Where is my medal?"
Since he responded that no one has ever made fun of him for being with me, I asked him why he thought that I am never made fun of period. Why I am never oddly stared at. Why I am always 100% accepted?
You have to understand about this conversation we were having. We were at a restaurant seated at a high top table. Try to picture this. In a normal wheelchair, the table would literally be over my head. However I have a wheelchair that the seat elevates, so I can raise up and sit with him as if I were sitting in one of the stools. This DOES NOT look normal people, and still I am never gawked at, and in fact, the most adorable thing happened.
A little girl was sitting at a lower table next to us with her mother. She had to be only four or five years old. She was informing her mother that she could count all of the people in the dining room because she had learned to count to 100. As she went through each table counting higher and higher. . .19, 20, 21. . .she looked over at us and paused. Instead of making a comment about the different nature of my chair, or asking what was was wrong with me, what does she say?
"Wow mom, she's pretty!"
I am truly blessed to have gone through my life thus far and not been teased because I am different. I hope that I can be an example to people to simply be confident in themselves. If you don't believe in yourself, then who will believe in you?