An inspiring Facebook post by a mom who has a son who is a special child that received a good treatment from a fellow mother who taught her children how to embrace their differences.
We’ve all heard the term, “Don’t you know it’s rude to stare!” And it’s true… it is rude to stare, however, sometimes people just don’t know any better. And that was the case with two little boys who were eating with their mother at a Chick-fil-A restaurant.
When Leah Carroll saw the young boys staring and pointing at her son Malachi, it wasn’t anything new to her. She’s used to people whispering about her little boy who is disabled and uses braces and a wheelchair to get around.
She was comforted by the fact that their mother quickly reprimanded them explaining that their behavior wasn’t polite. However, that mother’s next move brought Leah to tears.
Here why, according to Leah’s Facebook post:
To the mom of three at Chick-Fil-A: I sensed your panic when your five-year-old son pointed at my son in his wheelchair and shouted “Mom look at THAT boy!” You leaned forward and quietly told him and his three-year-old brother that we don’t say things like that and they shouldn’t point or stare. But as in most cases, these suggestions are futile with young, curious minds and they continued to stare and loudly ask questions about my son’s differences.
When you realized your whispers weren’t working I saw the panic disappear and you took a deep breath and took a step of courage. You brought your boys over to Malachi and said: “I bet he would like to know your names!” As they said their names my little Malachi started grinning from ear to ear and jabbering back to them. The joy on his face brought tears to my eyes- he loves kids his age but so many are fearful to come and speak to him.
Your boys continued to ask questions about his foot braces, his wheelchair, why his legs don’t work, why he holds his mouth open like that. You took the time to educate your sons in that moment and help them understand that different is okay. Different is not something to fear. And that it was okay to ask questions! Thank you for giving my son a chance to meet your kids.
Thank you for being the type of mom who educates your children instead of frantically trying to silence them. Special needs moms have to develop tough skin- we get used to stares, comments, and whispers.
Please know it takes a lot to offend us, particularly when the comments are coming from young children. Give your kids the same grace we give them and use the opportunity to teach them about differences. So Chick-Fil-A mom, thank you for raising your children to embrace children like Malachi. And thank you for giving my son something to smile about.
Since Leah made her Facebook post, it went viral with almost 75,000 shares and 208,000 likes.
“We are overwhelmed by how much kindness has been spoken over our son, and thrilled that he is getting the opportunity to help break down barriers and spread awareness,” Leah said on Facebook.
Malachi was also excited about all the positive feedback that it inspired him to speak a phrase he’s never spoken before, “I love them,” which you can hear him utter here.
It’s amazing how something that could be construed as rude and offensive can be easily turned into compassion and understanding when you strike up a conversation and ask a few questions
The world would be a much better place if people and politicians took a cue from Chick-Fil-A mom and stopped to get to know others who are different than us and understand that being “different is okay.”
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