Meet the lepers

Yesterday Owen had a brief taste of what a leper must feel like. He took Nathan to his Gymboree play class because I wasn’t feeling well. When he came home and I asked him how it went, he was a bit reluctant to talk to me about it. Finally I got it out of him – most of parents and kids avoided him and Nathan. Wherever he took Nathan to get him to interact, the parent would look away and steer their child away to another area. Nobody would look him in the eye and he wasn’t able to strike conversation with ANYONE. Now, Owen is a VERY social person. If any of you know him, you know what a friendly guy he is. Me – I am not. I am insular. I step into my bubble that includes me and my baby and no one else – and am happy to think everyone EXCEPT us has leprosy. So it doesn’t realy touch me when others ignore us. I don’t look them in the eye, I don’t smile, I don’t make contact. But Owen. Owen talks to everyone wherever he goes. He thrives on human contact. What a tough thing huh.

This morning I took Nathan to a new preschool class at the park down the street. If you can’t tell, I’m trying to introduce more fun into Nathan’s life. More play therapy. This little preschool class fit in PERFECTLY with his schedule so we were like, let’s do it!

Anyways, I noticed it too – no one looked at us, talked to us. Everyone avoided us. A couple of the kids came over and asked us what was wrong with Nathan. How do you explain to a 2 year old what’s wrong with your kid?

At first I was like, well, it’s their loss. But then I was thinking back to the post I wrote earlier this week about grief. About wanting to teach people that our kids are a blessing. How do you convey this to others when you ignore them as much as they ignore you? It kinda ocurred to me that maybe I’m not really doing anyone a favor by being so insular.

So then I was brainstorming – so how do I inform others, when I can’t even talk to them? And I had an idea.

Meet Nathan Cards.

Maybe I can make a cute card with a few cute pics of Nathan and a little bit about Nathan in the back, and print hundreds. Then, wherever we go = baby classes, the mall, playgrounds, supermarket, anywhere really, we can just give them to people. If they’re staring, if they ask us a question, at the beginning of a class, any chance we get – we give these cards out. Then at least they can learn a little bit about Nathan. They can learn that Nathan is just a person like any other person. That he’s just a kid like their kid. That he sees, feels, understand – just like any other kid. Most importanly, hopefully they can see that Nathan has feelings and a big beating loving heart. They may be more open to getting to know him. To getting to know us.

Then even if people act like we have leprosy, we can still reach out and give them the cards, and then maybe next time we see them they won’t think the same way. I am sure some people will, no matter what. But the ones who are in genuine ignorance would at least have a chance to know more about Nathan, about us. The gift would be theirs. They would then have a chance to get to know Nathan.

Has anyone tried this? Do you think it’s a good idea? Bad idea? Would love some feedback!


  1. I think this is a great idea and I think you should go for it. It is hard to explain to little ones I usually say he is just a special baby and I had one little girl say to his siter ” Wow I wish I had a special brother ” I thought that was one of the nicest things from the mouth of babes huh.

  2. I think it’s a great idea!
    I think people behave this way is because they don’t really know how to behave in this situation and afraid to say something rude or inappropriate without realizing it. So it’s easier to stay away.
    I think you could also add to Nathan’s card that he would like to make friends with them and play with them.


  3. great idea!

  4. great idea

  5. Veronica - Lorenzo's Nana says

    I think this is a great idea! I’ve seen something similar and I believe it worked for that person as well. What a powerful tool this can be! ‘Renzo attends an Infant group at FBC (the Foundation for Blind Children) and during our parent meeting time, we talked about the ignorance and intolerance we’ve all dealt with. I also may “barrow” your idea Marcela, and would love to have one of Nathan’s card’s to show the parent group, once you print them, if you don’t mind – will even reimburse for postage. You truly are an awesome person and mom to Nathan!

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