Yesterday I tried to "get away" for a little while.
The husband and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises in the afternoon. We decided to go to the 3:40 showing to avoid the Saturday night crowd. The theater was pretty empty. I'd say there were maybe 10 people tops. We got to sit pretty much where we wanted. So we picked a spot smack dab in the center, a few rows up. It was ideal. Almost.
A few rows ahead of us to the left, a mom and a daughter were sitting. I think the little girl was maybe 8 or 9? And she had an obvious disability-- I'm guessing cerebral palsy. She didn't have complete control over her body movements and now and then during the movie (especially when she got excited), the little girl made noises and squirmed in her chair. The mom kept shushing her, and I wished I could send her some kind of mental signal saying, "It's ok!!! She's not bothering anyone! If someone says anything to you, I'll come to your aid--I'm in the club!!!"
No, I do not have a daughter with cerebral palsy. I have no idea what that mother goes through on a daily basis. I'm sure she has challenges far different than the challenges I face. But there is an undeniable bond between parents of children with special needs. We have fought similar battles. We know what it's like to be stared at in public. We have been in more doctor's offices than we can count. We worry--A LOT. We cherish things that others take for granted--like walking, and smiles, and eye contact, and words, and being able to write letters...
No, the little girl in the movie theater didn't bother me at all. I thought it was awesome the mother TOOK her daughter to see a movie. I also loved it, because it reminded me of Derek. Derek can't sit through a movie in a theater yet. YET. (I cling to the hope that someday he'll be able to do things like eat at a restaurant and go to a movie.) And when the mom pulled the little girl into her lap at the end of the movie because she got squirmy? I loved it even more. The mom kissed her daughter's head and you could physically see their love for each other. I had to fight tears. Then when the movie ended, she carried her daughter out of the theater like it was no big deal. We exchanged a few words, and I wished I could tell her about Derek. Instead I just gave them both a smile.
My brief "get away" wasn't all I'd planned--it was more.