Do you use a tissue around the electronic pen at the cash register?
Do you wash your hands after touching the door handle of a department store? Or when you dine at an “all-you-can-eat” restaurant, do you use hand sanitizer after you go through the line? I confess, I never used to take such precautions. I knew others who did but I’d never understood their motivation. Until I became a special needs mom. After my son spent six months in the hospital, I learned to wash my hands before and after visiting my son. Once he came home, my hand washing ritual increased and my number of cold incidences decreased. So began the quest to protect Samuel from germs. The last time my son was sick, my husband and I slept in the living room with our clothes on and all the emergency equipment ready to go to the hospital if need be. My breathing gets shallow just thinking about it. So you can understand my caution when we go out. Recently we were at the local supermarket when two ladies approached Samuel in his stroller. From the corner of my eye, I saw they were both wearing temporary badges from the local hospital. Hospital = germs.
Alarms rang in my mind as the taller woman reaches out to touch Samuel. I attempted to block her…to protect my son. My arm brushed hers just as her fingers touched my son’s cheek. Barely averting disaster, I hover over my son, ready for any more sudden moves. The second lady saw what happened, stretched out her arm but thought better of touching him. To be sure, these were very sweet well intentioned ladies who just wanted to coo over my son. Perhaps they had already washed their hands. I didn’t get the chance to ask so my only reaction was action. Thankfully, nothing happened and Samuel was fine.
The memory of my son being sick gives me the boldness to be, well, rude at times. This includes to strangers and even family and friends who want to touch Samuel. One friend at church, knowing my dilemma, put a sign on his stroller that read, “Admire but don’t touch.” Maybe if I made him a onesie with this saying? What do you think? My advice… if you ever meet a special needs child in the mall, at the store or when you are buying groceries, as cute as the child may be, refrain from touching them. Feel free to gush about how precious they are but resist the urge to reach out. The parents will be thankful. For my special needs moms, has this happened to you? Please share how you graciously handled the situation. I would love to know you tips. By Evelyn Mann Author, A Miracle In My Living Room