Assalamu alaikum, what I’m about to relay just happened a few minutes ago, so needless to say, I’m still upset/angry about it, so this post might be a bit raw/disjointed.
The weather’s been really nice the past couple of days. And I’ve actually been able to turn off my AC and open up the windows in my house an dlet in the fresh air. So after work today, I decided to take the baby on a short walk. I have a front carrier called a Snugli that my husband bought me especially for this purpose, i.e., I wanted to start walking again for exercise, and I wanted to be able to take the baby along.
So anyway, I finished work and threw on a scarf/abaya, and put the baby into the Snugli, grabbed my cane and off I went.
I first stopped off at a neighbor’s house that I visit fairly often so he and/or his wife could see the baby, and though I think he was home, he wasn’t sitting in his garage watching TV as normal, so I kept walking. The particular street that I live on does not have sidewalks but the traffic on my street is fairly light so not haivng any sidewalks doens’t bother me as much as it normally would. So anyway, I get to the intersection of my street and a very busy road that I won’t name, because my intention isn’t to call anyone out or anyting. The busy street has a sidewalk for at least some part of it and my intention was to alk down this sidewalk. I started to amke the turn onto the sidewalk and this particular sidewalk is pretty close to the street so I started to get a bit nervous. So as I was walking I decided that I’d just walk about a half a block or so, or perhaps to the first intersection and then turn around and walk back.
So I’d turned back around and was walking back toward my street when a brother from the masjid that I know stopped and said salam to me, and I answered back, and he said “do you normally walk that boy (meaning the baby) on this street?” And I said no, that this was the first day that I’d walked him down this particular street. Then he started lecturing me, telling me that the sidewalk was too close to the street and that I shouldn’t walk the baby down this street anymore. Now to be fair, I was actually kinda nervous about walking down this street myself as it happens, because there was a lot of traffic and a lot of big trucks, so it did make me a bit nervous which is why I turned back in the first place.
But I really did not and do not appreciate being lectured to about it like I’m some kinda child or like I don’t know what I’m doing. I really don’t like being talked to like I’m some kinda child, and this is not the first time that this has happened. One time this same brother when the baby’d accidentally fallen off a park bench was not talking to me directly when this happened, mind you, but to my ten year old step daughter. I heard him saying things like “hey you gotta be more careful and watch her (meaning me) because you know she can’t see and all.” He was treated her like she was the adult and I was the irresponsible child because God forbid my child accidentally rolls off a park bench.
The thing is, if I were sighted I’d not get treated like this and that is what upsets me and makes me angry. Bu the thing also is that when these things happen, I’m so angry/upset/shocked that I can’t say anything, or if I do, it’s the worst possible thing I could say, so then I just keep quiet. Because I don’t want to say the wrong thing, I don’t want to offend anyone. But I’m so upset right now, I really want to cry.
And I’m sure the brother had good intentions, but I really wish people would realize when they say these kinds of things or act like this how absolutely, I don’t know, how absolutely awful it feels.
I would never deliberately put my child in harm’s way. I’d never do anything that could hurt them. But I guess being blind in and of itself of itself is considered a danger to some people.
And I’m not sure if there’s anything I could do about it. I’d talk to my husband but I’m sure he’ll already have heard about it from the brother before I get a chance to talk to him. And the problem is that most sighted people don’t understand how things like this make me feel and their response is usually along the lines of “hey they meant well so just get over it”.
Anyway, this really took the shine off of this day, which was actually going pretty good until now.