So, I’m sitting here with my friend cheap-ass-box-of-wine and I’m allowing myself to feel all the rage I’ve been suppressing for days. Gabriel’s surgery went incredibly well and for that I’m extremely grateful. He handled himself like a champ, until they came at him with the gas mask, and then he fought like a banshee. I’m sure it wasn’t nice for the surgeon to have to perform the operation after a freakishly strong 9 year old kicked her in the solar plexus, but she rallied and did a wonderful job.
Gabriel didn’t see me dissolve into tears after the finally managed to get him down and I had a lovely friend to sit with me during the operation. This time was better than last time because I knew what to expect and how best to take care of him after the surgery.
Right now we’re in the full blown zombie eye phase of this process. He’s wearing a clear plastic conformer over his newly reconstructed eye but tomorrow he’ll be fitted for a new prosthetic lens and hopefully we’ll be on our way back home soon.
This brings me to the main point that I had in mind when I decided to write a post tonight. Here it is: (sit down because this may come as a shock and a surprise to you all).
PEOPLE ARE FUCKING ASSHOLES AND I HATE THEM ALL.
All of them.
Well, no. Not you my lovely, enlightened blog followers….but basically everyone else.
I found myself in a paradoxical situation today where I was really happy that my little dude couldn’t see the way other children were pointing and staring at him, yet they probably wouldn’t have been pointing and staring if he could see. I’ve also been cursing my inability to speak Spanish the whole time we’ve been in Columbia, yet today it was a blessing since I wasn’t able to tell said children what little douchebag toe-rags they are.
On some level, I get it. He’s got a full blown zombie eye that’s right out there for everyone to see because I refuse to make him hide it under sunglasses. I don’t want him to feel ashamed about who he is. He’s the blind dude with (now two) freak show eyes and I want him to own that shit. He can’t see the way people stare and step back in revulsion, but I can. And then I have to pretend that it doesn’t phase me. It’s draining and I’m already tired from being away from home and having to watch my boy suffer and being alone in this hellish situation and the unending grief of knowing that my boy will never be able to see. Then I’ve got to deal with a bunch of kids looking like my kid like he’s a gruesome crime scene.
Pffft… It’s too much.
Now, you might be asking yourself where these children’s parents were.
THEY WERE RIGHT THERE STARING TOO!! WTF????
When I was a child my parents taught me this crazy thing called ‘Manners’. One of the first lessons in the ‘Baumann Family Charm School’ was that you don’t stare at people. Especially not people who are different. Had I even done what these children did today I wouldn’t be here to write these bitter words.
I don’t know what parents are teaching their children these days, but it’s clearly not basic human decency. Probably they’re too busy teaching them to work their Iphones. Maybe I’m hypersensitive because of the ordeal we’ve just been through, maybe I’m home sick and tired and cranky, but I don’t think so. I think people are becoming self absorbed to the point that they don’t care about anybody else. They don’t care about ostracizing others, they don’t have enough empathy to put themselves in anybody else’s shoes. They just don’t give a crap about anything anymore. And it’s really sad.
Gabriel’s not sad though. He’s light as a feather knowing that the Damocles sword of surgery is no longer looming over his little head. He’s agonizing about what color eyes to pick out and pretty happy that he’ll have a matching set for the first time in his young life. He doesn’t see them stare. I do, but once the rage monster in my head calms down I’m left feeling more sad for them than for us because these people are far more broken than my little boy.
I teach my child that a life without compassion is no life at all, but I also have to teach him not to expect compassion from anyone else. It’s not easy, but doing the right thing seldom is.
This surgery marks the end of some things. It’s the end of one chapter and the start of a new one. There’s no hope now, of any miraculous fix for his broken eyes, but that in itself is a blessing and our path forward is easy to see. So they can stare all they want. My little dude doesn’t care.