Its been over a year since Nash’s diagnosis and the one thing that I have had a personal struggle with more than anything are the wide-eyed glances I get when I am out with my boys. Generally I try to hold my head high with Nash strapped to my front and my 3 year old running around my feet but sometimes it gets to me.
I do understand why people stare, I mean the kids adorable firstly (no bragging here). But he is also white, almost as white as a new Word Document with no letters in it and incredibly blonde with blue eyes. He also looks nothing like me, in my mind he completely resembles Dad: the nose, the eyes and the cheeky grin are all my husband. It can be a little disturbing looking at the child you gave birth to and struggling to see a resemblance.I wonder if that is how my husband felt when our eldest son was born. He had jet black hair, fuzzy ears, hair all over his forehead and olive skin. I am happy to say the hair is just localized to his head now.
Not too long ago we were strolling around our local mall to find shoes for my eldest son and literally everyone who walked by did double takes. I often get the “Are they both yours?” (as if I would willingly strap someone else’s 22 pound baby to my body, do you have any idea the kind of back ache I have). If I have the time I try to educate them a little bit about Albinism and if I have had a trying day and that comment seriously pissed me off then I usually smile, give a fake little laugh and say “he takes after his dad”. This statement always feels like a lie like I am ashamed but in truth he does look like his dad and sometimes I just cannot deal with complete strangers and ridiculous comments.
At the end of the day I am not going to tell a person what to say or how to act towards other people. There are loads of blog posts berating people for their insensitivity in situations like this. I also don’t want to seem like some whiney parent “Oh poor me” because in reality we bear the burden of worry like all parents. In truth the person most affected by Albinism is Nash. When people stare at him and our family it just reminds me that he is different and that maybe people will be staring at him his whole life. As a parent thats a hard truth to accept. I will say this though before you ask a question or make a off the cuff remark to a complete stranger why don’t you ask yourself is it the right one? What am I trying to achieve by making this statement or asking such a question? And if you do find yourself staring give us a little smile whilst your doing it – as Phyllis Diller said “A smile is a cure that sets everything straight”.
With that I leave you with the magnificent Dr Seuss just because I can.