Yesterday, Queen Teen and I walked with Rick to his appointment at the eye doctor, enjoying the beautiful California spring time weather. We took our time and stopped at flower gardens where we smelled roses and touched their wide, soft petals. At the doctor's, Rick went inside and Queen Teen and I walked another block to the cafe to wait for him. We got Italian Sodas and chatted about how excited she is to be going to Disneyland (she's never been).
Then she asked, "Where did Rick go?"
"He's at the eye doctor's getting his eyes checked."
"Because the doctor is making sure his eyes are healthy and if he needs new glasses."
She thought about this for a moment, then asked, "But why does the doctor have to check his eyes?"
"Everyone goes to the eye doctor for an eye checkup. It's important to keep our eyes healthy." I looked at her carefully as she stared at me. "Did you know that everyone goes to the eye doctor?"
She shook her head. "No."
"Yes. Everyone goes. Even me. And everyone goes to the dentist for a check-up and a cleaning, AND we all go to the doctor for a check-up. Everyone even gets shots sometimes. And sometimes we have to get our blood drawn for tests. You're not the only person who has to go to the doctor, sweety."
"I'm not?" She seemed surprised.
"No! Not at all. Everybody has to go to the doctor sometimes, not just you."
She grinned. "Oh." Then she drank her soda, looking very pleased with the idea that EVERYONE has to be examined by a doctor now and then.
This was another one of those moments that showed me how much of the world Queen Teen misses. She honestly believed she was the only person in the entire world who has to go to the doctor, except for the few kids she sees at clinics. The ONLY person who has ever had to have her blood drawn, or her brain and eyes and ears examined.
And why shouldn't she think that? She doesn't really know any other people with disabilities and doesn't know anyone who goes to the doctor as often as she does.
How did she miss this fact of life? How did I not show her going to the doctor is normal for everyone. It's just one of those facts we don't think about, because it just IS.
For Queen Teen, nothing is as simple as just IS.