I witnessed Danny being made fun of for the first time yesterday. I don't even know if "made fun of" is really the right term for it. He was called a name.
Sounds harsh, right? It really wasn't such a big deal at the time. The name caller was my sister's 7 year old stepson. He's got older brothers that aren't the best influences and doesn't get to spend much time with our families. But still.
I don't really even think he was meaning to call Danny a name. Maybe more like a nickname or something... It really didn't seem mean-spirited. He just walked in and said, "Hey, Blindy." In fact, he was so nonchalant about it that it took me a few beats for his words to sink in. His father had already reprimanded him by that time. But still.
Danny, being true to form, took it all in stride and asked to be taken to the kitchen. On the way he ran on in his own third-person commentary saying, "...He can't see. You know, his eyes are broken." But still.
Even though it wasn't a big issue then, it feels like a big issue now. Another child took a poke at Danny's most vulnerable spot with no thought and absolutely no consideration for his feelings.
He's only three. What will it be like when he's 7... or 10, or 15? Will those unthinking words from his unenlightened peers continue to roll off Danny's back like so many water droplets? Or will he bear the scabs and scars inside where the world cannot see?
Of course, he will be carrying a big stick (cane)... perhaps others should learn to speak softly...