By Kelly Wilton
Please don’t look at me that way, as if I should be doing something more.
Please don’t look at me that way, as if I should have stayed home.
Please don’t look at me that way, that what I am doing is wrong.
You see, your look says a lot to me even though no words are spoken.
Because I can see you looking at me, making assumptions.
I can see you feeling apprehensive as you stand back. I have entered your space, and you are disarmed.
You don’t know how to handle this new situation you find yourself in.
Instead of choosing openness and kindness, you have chosen to put up walls.
Instead of choosing the road less travelled you have chosen the easiest option – to stick with what you know.
If you had, in that moment, chosen to respond differently you may have learned something new, something to help you understand and prepare you for next time you find yourself in this space.
You may have learned that I am just like you.
You may have learned that I too am part of a family that is filled with love.
You may have learned that I know all too well how this world works; that it doesn’t favour the different.
You may have learned that both mother and child feel all of the above because we are intertwined.
But difference is a fighter; fighting is what we do. We fight for acceptance, understanding, inclusion: where our needs should be met, like yours, but sometimes they are not.
Sometimes the fight wears us down.
And at times, it hurts, to feel the gap our difference creates.
And at other times there is an abundance of joy because if it. The difference is what ignites us, what lifts us up and what continues to power us forward. It is truly the essence of life, to be on a different path and to have to be completely trusting in the unknown.
Those times are what I want you to know about.
These are the things that matter to us. We find trust in this way, and so may you, in time, if you take down those walls.
But for now, let us lead the way.