To the Mum on the High Street with the Retarded Boy Today; (hope I am not boring the rest of you)

I haven’t got any hate mail! I can not decide if people need to phase out the word ‘retarded’ or not. On one hand, I feel that I have the capacity to use that word with humour and respect and also to make a joke. On the other hand, as someone with mental illness myself, maybe it isn’t ok.
I was with my kids on the high street today and a profoundly handicapped  man came by with his mum and wanted to pet the teddy bears that we had just made.
He was all ‘NUN huhnna  so soft bearz’ and touched my kids teddies with a steady and careful finger. I allowed him to do so and so did my kids. His mother was a bit anxious.
What is his name? I said to the mum. Her glazed and anxious eyes lit up.
‘His name is, oh don’t touch that, oh don’t, you will scare the girls….
“What is His NAME?’ i said, just touching her arm ever so slightly.
Oh, it’s stephan.
She never saw me. She could only see him and worry.  I wish she saw me and let them linger a minute. What a life she has, I can only guess, but I could have given her at LEAST 15 minutes.
Wanna see my bear? said my oldest?
funzybears toucccch funzybearzzz?
my oldest just went; welp: HERE wanna hug it?
and his mum said NO NO! Dont let him! he will…
and then he hugged it and gave it back.
His mum was out of speech. (no mention of weasel)
Apparently he could not be trusted around stuffed animals. His mum mumbled that she had got him one years ago and that he had destroyed it. I have two kids. they destroy everything i own.
But he did not destroy anything. (this time…I know)
And when he walked away, my kids just shrugged, but one of my charges was all? what was up with that man? why was he weird ugly and stuff’
Baby doll, because he has a medical condition. He is sick. He will never get better. He will be a baby-like man for life. He is retarded and he was awesome and special wasn’t he?
‘yeah Auntie! He was funny and awesome! I feel special and funny too…LALALAL”
I wish his mum could have heard that!

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