I can dive into a grocery store focused intently on my list of items and comfortably not care if you are staring at me trying to balance a grocery cart, push a wheelchair and hold a small toddler's hand so he doesn't decide to put four pounds of bananas in the cart.
It doesn't matter if you make a snide comment while I'm waiting unloading my groceries at the check-out and insinuate that my child a merely a financial burden on society and a hardship for his family.
Or if you'd rather be a bystander watching me struggle to load a typical child into a car seat, lock in a wheelchair and unload groceries all within minutes of each other, than asking if you can lend a helping hand, I'm starting not to notice you anymore because I've realized that you are not a productive part of my day and have the potential to bring my day down in unnecessary sadness and additional grief.
The consequence to not noticing you anymore is that I may miss that unexpected random act of kindness or not be able to identify or pick out a kind person in the crowd.
I no longer look and seek out those ready and willing to be our unlikely hero, a compassionate hand, or loving heart to our day.
It has become simply easier to march forward, not noticing.
While humans crave interactions with one another yet we force upon each other meaningless conversations and actions - especially when something makes us uncomfortable like witnessing a child with a severe disability in public.
It’s so much easier for strangers to look away, or not know how to properly respond, or to have no filter on what they say if they do pay any attention to a family with a disabled child.
Some may think that is sad or being a defeatist, some will deem it a natural defense mechanism for special needs parenting, and many others will absolutely understand.
That's the unique thing about the special needs journey as parents even thought we're all traveling this disability road we are all at different places and stages on that road.
No journey less challenging, no feelings less important or invalid, no journey trumping the experiences of another family.