Another Xmas Story
Terry Slade (TMSLADE@IPGATE.ACTX.EDU)
Thu, 18 Dec 1997 15:40:22 -0600
My brother was the Director for the local "Light House for
the Blind" and he asked me to be the Santa for their Christmas
party for their clients that are vision impaired. I said sure and
got me a suit.
The party was going fine with cookies, punch, and the usual
Christmas party stuff when it came time to sit on Santa's lap
and tell him (me) what each kid wanted. I had no idea about
what to expect from the kids. Most wanted audio tapes, dolls,
a piano, and the regular things kids want.
One boy, about 11 years old, asked for a BB Gun. Without
thinking, this Santa blurted out, "I don't know about that, you
could shoot your eye out". Here I was telling a blind kid that
Santa wasn't bringing him a BB Gun because he could shoot his
eye out. His parents were standing right there and heard the
I felt like a complete jerk. How could I have said such a thing
to this boy at Christmas or anytime. There was no place I could
hide or crawl under as there were more children in line. What
could I do?
I told him I would do my best and wished him a Merry
Christmas. His parents came to me as I expected. I knew I
was in the worst trouble that I could be in and that there was no
way out. The mother smiled at me and thanked me for what I
had said. I was confused. She said "That the statement about
putting out his eye was what they tell him all the time and it was
wonderful the way Santa had said the same thing".
How do you treat a person with a disability? Like a person.
In the Scouting spirit. Terry Slade Amarillo, TX
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City