Today I spent a good 15 minutes crying in my car.
Wyatt and I had our first (and last) Speech Delay Support group meeting. We woke up early, got ready, and drove 35 minutes to the library where it was being held. It was a small group of about 5 children and their mothers. We walked into the room and met with the instructor – she seemed nice and the nervousness I had all morning was slowly beginning to melt.
The other moms arrived and brought their children in the room and everyone sat around a white mat with two plastic bins in the center. The bins were filled with some small toys. Wyatt was running around the room, looking out the windows, and stopping every few seconds to smile at the other kids. But the other children were sitting still in front of their parents. I tried to get Wyatt to sit with me on the floor and he immediately started to cry. He didn’t want to sit. He wanted to explore the room, he wanted to look out the windows and watch the flower petals float off the blooms of the trees.
While I was walking around the room with Wyatt – someone asked me if I was pregnant – then made sure to tell me that she spaced out her pregnancies a few years so she wouldn’t have to chase after a toddler. And when she said it – she used… “the tone”.
You know what I’m talking about. The “i’m-better-than-you” tone.
I didn’t really feel like diving into our fertility issues with this women. I didn’t feel like explaining that I had Endometriosis that was growing at an abnormal pace. That if we wanted to have another baby at all – it had to be now. Instead I just nodded my head and was silent.
The moms in the room just stared at me. Stared like I was the worst mother in the world. They looked at Wyatt – looked at him like he was crazy. I watched as they glanced at him, then at each other.
They were judging us.
One of the moms even said…
is he always like this?
I felt my heart sinking. This was a place where we were supposed to feel safe. Where we were supposed to be welcomed. Everyone in that room had a child with a speech delay – weren’t we supposed to be supportive of one another?
The instructor left the room for a moment and it became extremely quiet.
I could feel the heat of the eyes of those moms on me, on Wyatt.
I picked up my bag just as the instructor was coming back in. I told her that we were leaving. I walked over, grabbed Wyatt’s hand, and walked out of the room without giving those women the terrible stink eye that they had been giving us.
As the door closed behind me, I felt my face get warm and flushed. I tried to hold it in until we got to the car. But the elevator ride back down to the first floor with my sons hand in mine was too intense. I looked down at him and he was looking up at me, excited that we were walking together. By the time the elevator doors opened tears were streaming down my face. I kept my head down, put Wyatt on my hip and walked as fast as I could toward the front doors.
It took me 15 minutes to calm down before starting the drive home.
15 minutes of sobbing with my head on the steering wheel while calling my mother.
It made me realize just how hateful some people are. But at the same time, it made me really appreciate my family. I love my son. I don’t care if he likes to run and play – he’s nearly a 2 year old for crying out loud.