Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

I Wish the World Knew We’re More Alike Than Different

I can’t remember whether we visited the old folks home to earn a Brownie Troop badge or to visit somebody. My mom told us old people were the same as we were and reminded us that they used to be young. She showed us photos of my Grandma as a girl. I wouldn’t have recognized her. 

My brothers and I dressed in church clothes and brought drawings of crayon rainbows and flowers. One had a cat sitting on a milk box and a pot of gold with coins spilling onto the grass below. Today, we’re more PC and old folks homes are called senior living centers or retirement communities. 

I remember talking to my Grandma when I was in my early 20’s. She told me about when she was a kid, and how her mom killed their yard chickens for dinner. She told me about growing up, meeting my grandpa and helping with the war efforts. That was the first time I really saw her. She was more like me than I’d realized. 

***

“What do you want for Christmas, Mommy?” my son asks. “Anything you make,” I say. At first, I saved each of my son’s drawings, paintings and homework sheets. Today, I only keep the special ones. Before tossing them, I take a photo even of those that show the least of who he is today. I’m going to miss him being little someday. I already do. 

***

When I was 14, I wanted the world to know me. I wanted the world to know about how unfair it was that people were in jail for crimes they did not commit. I wanted to be Clarence Darrow. Attorney for the Damned.

I was convinced that I’d become a criminal defense lawyer until a college professor took us to court with her, and no longer wanted that. I decided I wanted to be an artist, but it turned out that I wasn’t a good one. The word “writer” kept whispering. I shut her up for years because who can make money as a writer?

I still want to be a writer. 

***

I wish the world knew that we’re all more alike than we are different. Kids are kids. They are not a diagnosis. Each is worthy of love, compassion, understanding, and acceptance. As are we. I wish we each remembered that whether we live in a car or a castle that we’re more alike than different. 

I wish the world knew that we’re mostly in this whole messy beautiful place together.

Late at night, I go outside to remind myself of the bigger world. I breathe in, see a firefly. A car goes by in the distance and I wonder where it’s going. Where it’s been. I wonder about the other side of the planet, and how women more alike me than different are maybe sitting outside too. I imagine a young mother in Europe, grateful that her newborn sleeps while she sends an email to a friend. 

I picture another woman in a remote village somewhere, caring for her children. She doesn’t use email. I think about how different our lives are. About how they’re the same, too.

Tucker and mom on rc

***

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “What I wish the world knew…”
Host: Me (Kristi) from Finding NineeFinish the sentence Friday writing prompt

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  • Jen - I don’t know how you always get it all so right but you do
    June 30, 2016 – 10:27 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - Love you and hate the way you slice through my heart like a warm knife through butter when you write. You are a writer, please accept that.

    None of us get it right all the time. Tucker is a very wonderful young an and you are an exceptionally sensitive parent.

    Darn you and love you for your wonderful words.

    Btw, a certain politician came to visit Alex today and they got along famously.July 1, 2016 – 1:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer.
      Tell me about who visited Alex!!!July 2, 2016 – 1:05 amReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - A young politician running for Congress. He really seemed to understand autism and rare disorders. He shook Alex’s hand and Alex lit up with a big smile. I want people in office who are going to accept and love our children. Btw, you know I live in an all black neighborhood and this is the first politician to knock on our door.

        So far we have politicians who can barely say the word, “autism” let alone have a plan to help them. We are all so busy as parents of children with special needs but if we want a seat at the table for our children we have to get involved.

        My house was a mess and I hadn’t slept in days. But he didn’t judge but asked, “Why didn’t I have any help?” I told him none of us in this area do and he wants to change that. I am voting for people who will help our kids.July 2, 2016 – 3:00 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - That’s awesome that you met a person who can maybe actually help get you some help!! Here’s to no judgement and getting what our kids need. Good job, you.July 5, 2016 – 7:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Aw, love your wish here and am hopeful that this can someday be a reality and not just a dream. Hugs, my sweet fried to you ❤️❤️July 1, 2016 – 2:28 amReplyCancel

  • Lux G. - Oh, I hear you.

    I think the conflicts in the world root from misunderstanding and from forcing our beliefs towards others.

    It’s always nice to pause and go out and look up the sky. It puts in perspective.July 1, 2016 – 4:28 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I agree. I go outside and see the whole world differently than I did when trapped in my mind just minutes before. Thank you for your insight.July 2, 2016 – 1:06 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - I wish the world knew all those things too, but I know you already know I think that. 🙂 And taking pictures of the artwork before tossing it? Genius! I wish I would have thought of that years ago instead of storing it all in my attic!July 1, 2016 – 9:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I know Em and OMG the bins and bins of papers. I think they increase every year. At first, I was like Ok save all of it. But then I had three bins and he wasn’t even 1/2 way through first grade yet. I can’t imagine the three boys thing!!July 2, 2016 – 1:08 amReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Oh, I know so much of society is ruled inside of a courtroom, but I could never ever be a lawyer. I hate not knowing if someone is guilty of a crime or not. That uncertainty, in the face of such serious matters as say rape or murder of a child, those keep me up at night as it is.
    I also love to go out at night and pay attention to the sounds and smells all around me. I also enjoy being nosy, wondering where a car passing might be going. I now understand it’s simply a writer’s observational curiosity.
    We are all deserving humans. You are right. That was driven home to me in a strange way just yesterday when discussing life insurance policies. My brother and I are apparently only worth ten thousand while my older sister and brother are worth twenty, once certain medical conditions and disabilities came to light. Like, I understand it’s all about money, that us as humans of worth isn’t the main point of it. How business works I understand. Just made me sad.
    Working on my post for today, which just so happens to involve Obama and his speech here in Canada the other day. Today is Canada’s birthday and it made me think about a lot of things, not just here in my country, but everywhere.July 1, 2016 – 9:53 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I could never be a lawyer either now, but that’s what I originally went to college for, thinking I could save the wrongfully accused. But when I went with my freshman year teacher, it was so much different from what I thought and the whole guilty vs. not guilty had so much less to do with it all than I knew…
      Here’s to being nosy wondering where a car went. Maybe that really is a writerly quality that most people don’t think of.
      I am so sad about your life insurance policy and that makes zero sense to me and makes me super sad. Like how is a life less valuable than a life???
      I haven’t yet seen Obama’s speech but saw that it was amazing. We’re out of town now for Tucker’s birthday but I look forward to finding it. xoxo to you.July 2, 2016 – 1:12 amReplyCancel

  • Allie - Oh Kristi! I have the same wish:)! And you would have made a great attorney! Happy Fourth! Are you going to Colorado? If so, call me:).July 1, 2016 – 10:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Allie!!! I SO SO SO wish but we’re in Tennessee (which is also awesome but I won’t get to see you). Are you going to see Steph?? Happy Fourth to you!July 2, 2016 – 1:13 amReplyCancel

  • Rabia @TheLiebers - Beautiful! Deep down we really all do want and need the same things.July 1, 2016 – 11:36 amReplyCancel

  • Debi - We sure are more similar than different. I think that the older we get, the more likely we are to see that.July 1, 2016 – 12:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I still do too, but the good news is that we both are writers.
    It was always a whisper in my brain, no matter what I pursued in life. I mean, since the very beginning. Even though I went through that phase where I wanted to be a movie star.July 1, 2016 – 2:05 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Ditto. And here we are. Writing. Doing. Being. You can still be a movie star.July 2, 2016 – 1:20 amReplyCancel

  • Michele - Well said, Kristi (as always). And know that your words make a difference, and YOU are helping to make your wish a reality – post by post you are teaching us and helping us learn how to be more compassionate. You’ve certainly done that for me, and I’m so grateful. xoxoJuly 1, 2016 – 3:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you thank you and I’m so grateful for you. Let’s get together. Soon. Tucker’s almost 7 and OMG soon yours will be… too soon.July 2, 2016 – 1:28 amReplyCancel

  • Debi Lewis - What I love most about the internet is that it offers us easy ways to learn about the universality of our wishes. This post is a perfect example!July 1, 2016 – 4:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Lewis - Ha! Either you were in my head or I was in yours. Either way, LOVE this. And you. And the synchronicity.July 1, 2016 – 10:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @TheGoldenSpoons - Yes! We are are at the beach this week and two night ago, I state don the deck of our rented beach house staring up at the stars and listening to the ocean waves roar in the background I was reminded what a tiny speck I am (we are) in this big, wide world. But, you are right – we are all human and more alike than different – something all of us need to remember.July 2, 2016 – 9:00 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I love that feeling from being at the beach – the whole “I’m just a speck” but also so connected to everything past and now and future… it’s a great reminder and the very best part of vacation I think.July 5, 2016 – 7:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Hillary Savoie - Great piece! I love the idea of your calling as a writer whispering to you. I feel like it’s done so for me too. Physicist, I thought. Then architect — that one took me a whole undergrad degree to sort out! Graphic designer. Academic. Writer–always drifting around in the back of my mind.July 7, 2016 – 1:44 amReplyCancel

  • Maria - We say its a small beautiful world… but its huge enough and interesting enough to keep us engaged in our lifetime. Even I wish we all see that everyone are the same weather they are in City or village, weather they belong to different age groups, different genders and caste… there is a common bond between us… maybe its humanity… and we have the ability to live happily and spend time with each other being together… we often don’t realise it and miss a oppurtunity to be a more worldly wise open person… we all should be open minded and love the diversity and appreciate even the simple beauties of life, then we all would be happier for sure!!July 11, 2016 – 12:13 amReplyCancel

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