We went on a family outing to our local Chuck E. Cheese's over the weekend as a promise to our children, one of which reminded us of this every chance he got for an entire week. Truth be told, going there on a Saturday night was not something I was looking forward to. I knew it would be very crowded, which it was and I knew it would be more difficult to maneuver Felicity around a crowd in her wheelchair. I was pleasantly surprised when our evening went much smoother than I had anticipated. At the end of our visit I was standing with Felicity near the exit while waiting for Richie and Ryan to finish up picking out prizes at the toy counter, when I noticed a cute little girl staring at Felicity. This happens often because children are curious when they see one of their peers in a wheelchair...it's natural. Adults are curious too, they just have more practice at sneaking glances without blatantly staring. I didn't even notice the little girl approaching us, when I heard a little voice say," Excuse me. What happened to her?". She asked me this before her father could stop her, which by the look of panic and embarrassment on the poor guys face I'm certain he would have. I signaled to the man not to worry... I kneeled down and explained to this curious child that Felicity was born to soon and because of that she has something called cerebral palsy which makes it harder for her to walk. The two girls said hi to each other and smiled. Then we went on our way. I'm glad she had the courage to ask, most do not and it was especially meaningful to me that this happened on World Prematurity Day. I typically do not take offense when people ask me about Felicity. In fact I welcome the opportunity to educate and spread awareness. It beats the heck out of dealing with people staring and people trying not to stare any day!
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