I Don’t Mean to Offend You, But…

I Don’t Mean to Offend You, But…

I don’t mean to offend you, but…

Those 7 words and all that you had spoken before and after hung thick in the air around us, but perhaps only I was aware of their density. The spoken air left your mouth and thickly choked itself into my soul. Words that you can turn away from. A caveat intended to relinquish your conscience of everything else that had been said. But those words had already clawed into me.

I don’t mean to offend you, but…

I could no longer withhold their physical manifestation in me… My heart raced and my cheeks flushed hot with anger and shock. I could feel the shaking of my hands as my stomach churned and my body prickled with goosebumps from the cold rush of sweat.

I don’t mean to offend you, but…

Those words will stay with me for hours, days… probably always. I have heard them and they can never be taken away from me. They are the words that have had me crying in a public bathroom, spitefully picking a fight with my confused husband and consumed with an inner tempest of thought.

What is it that you see? A disabled boy who can’t walk or talk?

I’ll tell you what I see…

I see a boy who can kick a ball, shoot a hoop and ride a bike.

I hear a boy who shouts, giggles, signs and communicates with words that are all his.

I see a young boy who is funny, caring, cheeky and smart. A boy who is boisterous and physical, but empathetic and kind.

I see a boy with a determination and strength unmatched by his peers. A boy who fought against a ventilator to breathe on his own. A boy who has endured uncountable scans, anaesthetics, stitches, casts, plates, tests, injections and tubes that would bring a grown man to his knees.

But above all of that, I see my son. Perhaps you forgot.

Your words have consumed me, but slowly they are losing their foothold as I begin to see and understand your motivation. Clouded by your fear, all you can see is a wheelchair and a challenge too great to allow your head to give him a chance and your heart to remember that I am his mum.

But I will remember that your words do not represent the thoughts of us all. I will remember that we see a boy who is showing a community what it means for us all to have a place. For all our lives to have meaning and purpose. A boy with a school who want him, friends who choose him and a family who love him.

We will give him a chance and, when you are ready to let go of your fear, we believe you will too.

10 thoughts on “I Don’t Mean to Offend You, But…

  1. I don’t know what to say about this other than letting you know I’ve bookmarked this post.
    I’ve bookmarked this post because I want to read it again and again.
    I bookmarked this post because you fucking rock and are an inspiration. Not just as a mother, but as a woman.


  2. Lucy just got up, so I am up too!

    I just read your post with tears of joy. I love Harry too and I haven’t even meet him in person. I am so glad you are willing to put these thoughts in to words that describe what so many of us with kids who have challenges (and stand out a bit!) feel when people judge our kids and our decisions to give them a great life the one we all deserve!

    Good on you and thanks for starting my day (which is going to be a tough one) with such a great passage to keep me pushing on for Lucy all day xx



    1. Ah yes, those early starts! I TOTALLY understand!
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment – it really is just so hard when others can’t see everything that we can. But I believe that they are the few.
      I hope your day turned out okay, and that your gorgeous curly-haired girl was a little ray of sunshine xxx


  3. It always astounds me how closed minded and uninformed people can be but in the end, it’s their loss and they will miss out on the wonderfulness of H!! All we see is My H’s close friend who he looks forward to seeing each day and talks so much about. Children can be so more mature and open than some adults.

    Keep being your wonderful self, have your moment of anger, take a deep breath and keep moving forward with those who see H for what he is – Amazing!


    1. Children really are just so wonderful and open with how they view the world and all of our differences!
      We haven’t encountered much of this, which is probably why it was such a shock to me.
      Thank you for your lovely and thoughtful comment x


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