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The eyes that are always on us

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The eyes that are always on us

It is sinking in.  (Please don't misunderstand this post. Our family needs for Alexander to get this service dog.  I will do whatever is necessary to make sure all of my children are happy and healthy.)  However....

The reality of how this will change our life is beginning to set in.  We will no longer even be able to attempt to blend in.  Allow me to explain.

As a mother of twins, people are always staring at you. When I was pregnant, people would say things about how enormous I was (and I was only 6 months pregnant).  People would ask really intrusive questions, like, "Did you use IVF?" or "Are they natural?"  It was as if people felt that had some right to blurt out things because the pregnancy somehow turned off the receptors between their brains and their mouths.  I was once at a store and had the check out clerk as me if I was going to try to nurse the twins.  Again.... totally inappropriate question to ask a total stranger.

Then you have the twins.  Now a whole new level of  "oohhhh... let me see" starts.   For those of you who aren't parents of twins, trust me - this actually happens.  I remember one mother telling me that some stranger actually asked her which child she liked better.  Or another mother recalling how a stranger said, "Oh good - you have a spare."  I know the majority of you are probably sitting there reading this with your mouths hanging open, but let me assure you it is true.  My twins were born at 33 weeks at the end of October.  It would be the dead of winter, flu season, and we would have to go get something from the store.  People would constantly walk up, touch my children on the face, and get right down into the stroller to breathe their germy hellos to the twins.  This might not seem like a big deal, but people - babies, especially premature babies do not have developed immune systems.  The point is... twins make you stand out.  People notice you.  People pay attention.  You don't blend into a crowd.

When I take all three children out now, we can almost blend in.  People want to come over and see the "new baby" - but, for the most part, we blend in.

Next year this time, our days of blending in will be over.  When we walk into a grocery store, we will have a service dog.  When we go to church, the mall, Walmart... we will have a service dog.  I will be so thankful of the service this dog will provide, but it is a little daunting to realize that we will not blend in again.  People will notice the unusual - the dog in a store.  It is ok.

The blessings outweigh the fact that we will once again be on the radar of people who stare.... but the reality is beginning to set in.  Eyes will always be on us.

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At June 14, 2011 at 12:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, as a twin mom, I know all about the looks and the comments and the not blending in as such..but about the service pup. I see service dogs frequently and I'll tell you what, I am not looking at the person or family to see the disability..I am trying my hardest not to run over to the dog and cuddle and kiss him. So, you may be thinking people will be staring at the twins or your "new" baby..I'm here to tell ya, nope! They are gonna be loving up that dog and you are going to have to get him a vest that says "I'm working. Leave me alone." Those working dog vests were made especially for people like me.
On a side note and a bit more insight into my horribly sick sense of humor...About 10 years ago my mom had a stroke. Thankfully nothing was effected except she lost a little vision in one eye. When we found out that everything was ok and she was "a bit blind"....first words outta my mouth at the hospital and in front of the doctors was ...Oh oh oh..can we get a seeing eye dog now?!?!?" My mom thought it was hysterical, but still said no.

At June 14, 2011 at 6:19 PM , Blogger GingerGirl said...

It is true, but you do start to find some humor. My mother-in-law is blind. She does not have a service dog, and she is not comfortable with her cane, so she frequently just grabs the elbow of whichever family member is nearest to her. Not long ago, my sister in law was taking her to the store and people were staring...finally they made a disparaging comment about the "old lesbian couple." My mother-in-law laughed wildly; she much preferred being called that rather than the "poor blind lady."

At June 15, 2011 at 9:13 AM , Anonymous Rachel said...

I think people were staring because your 30-something husband was still clinging to his college years by wearing his KA shirt. They thought that was sad.

At June 15, 2011 at 12:09 PM , Blogger Kristen said...

"Ginger Girl" - you always crack me up.
Rachel... Only you could say that and get away with it. I read your comment to Ray and he actually laughed - but I have to tell you - you are going to get me banned from blogging!

At June 15, 2011 at 9:47 PM , Anonymous Rachel said...

Well, at least I said 30-something and not the real age (and I'd round up for the summer birthday boy). And you'll only get banned if you KEEP READING my comments to him! Tell him that I'll admit that I still have a few Alpha Phi t-shirts in my drawer. I don't, however, wear them when I leave our property...


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