23 thoughts on “Don’t Stare

  1. bertie blenkinsop

    Elizabeth will be okay because by the sounds of things she has two fantastic parents.
    That’s a very upsetting read, you’d wish them all of the luck and good will in the world.

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      this really saddened me, I hope for every ignorant dragged up fool there are many more empathetic people in your daughters life,
      off to a great start with these parents

    2. newsjustin


      There was a person in my school growing up who had very severe burns. In fairness, that was a fairly rough school, but they were treated with respect even by the biggest messers in the place. Kids can be way ahead of the curve in these things. Some of the things these adults came out with, according to this letter – fookwits

  2. Slightly Bemused

    That is a very touching letter, and sad in that it so truly reflects the reality. I wish both the mother and the daughter well.

    I also think the photo needs comment. Whatever about their prices, the number of stories going around about the Disney characters taking time with children with difficulties is very touching, and reflects well on them. The ones who sign to the deaf children, who treat the ones dressed as princesses as, well, princesses, and the ones like this one, who takes the time with the little girl before them, dropping to their level so they are not looking up. Sometimes these little things make a huge difference.

      1. millie st murderlark

        Seriously, Peter, if you have nothing to add but that utterly vacuous comment, kindly do yourself a favour and jog on.

  3. kellMA

    There are so many awful humans out there but then there are also so many lovely ones, like this mammy and daddy. This child could not have asked for a better set of parents….

  4. Bebe

    Read through tears earlier this morning. Adults can be so cruel – children as the dad conveyed are naturally curious and they accept explanation given. Adults dig deeper, make judgements that are often at odds with reality or downright harsh.

    Beautiful girl and wonderful parents; the letter which deals with the harsh reality of everyday life for one who is perceived as different. Such words need to be spoken in a society that judges, points finger, blames victim or survivor.

    I’ve no doubt given the supportive network she enjoys that she will be able to engage in the same way as her parents today advocate for her. And she too will make a difference on behalf of others.

    Great parents, gorgeous little girl – I wish them all the happiness, love and friendship in the world.

  5. paul

    As a part of my job, I work with a lot of kids like this one and I’ve found that kindness, generosity and love are free, they cost nothing and can change a childs world for the better. Any reason to choose the alternative is a poor one. I genuinely hope that the cruelty expressed by these adults weighs them down until they can’t move for the shame so they can confront whatever damage would cause them to treat a child this way. No healthy person behaves this way.

    Reading the letter I went through the expected ‘rage’, ‘frustration’, ‘anger’ etc but I ended up with sadness for the adults in question and genuine joy and hope for the little girl, she has fantastic parents and can and will overcome anything and everything.

    I’m an uncle to two amazing girls around this childs age and I’ve become a father for the first time recently so this is really hitting me where I live.

  6. Daisy Chainsaw

    To the adults who do this, a pox on you. Careless, thoughtless bar stewards. She’s five.

    Her parents should never have had to write such a letter, but having done so, I hope it makes the nasy goms cop on.

  7. Spaghetti Hoop

    A family like this that love and support each other shouldn’t give a toss about morons with no heart. I hope this girl grows up proudly and happily. Not many kids survive a fire.

    1. Slightly Bemused

      I was once caught in, but escaped, a house fire. I am ever since terrified of it, and am the first out the door when the fire alarm goes off – I could never be a fire marshall. What this little girl went through, I can only imagine.

      However, as you say, Kudos must go to her parents for the way they are dealing with this. As a father, i would be the confrontational one as she describes in the second para on the second page, and I have to agree with her third paragraph – this would give the wrong model for my child.

      I am also put in mind of the show The Last Leg, where among the presenters is Alex Brooker who is both an hilarious comedian but also a man who has not let his ‘deficiencies’ affect his life. I have no visible deficiencies (mine are all internal/mental) so people like him, and this little girl and her parents, give me inspiration

  8. Matt Fitzpatrick

    I’m astounded at the “At least she won’t have to wear a Halloween mask” remark. How on earth could somebody say that about anybody, let alone a child?

  9. Frank

    During the toughest months of chemotherapy when my little daughter looked very sick. The waxy, yellow cancer pallor and the tiny balding head, the hollow eyes. When we’d be out people would look away and pretend they didn’t see us or even worse they would look then shake their heads. The most common ‘look’ was to look at my daughter and with head to one side and pursed lips do this intake of breath thing. We were fighting for her life and this was the shite we had to put up with.
    But there was the very rare person who would smile at her and tell her how great she was, how lovely she looked. A simple kind word.
    So for Elizabeth today I’m sending her a big smile and a thumbs up :)

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      I know of premature-birth kids having a tough time in school from bigger-built classmates. But when adults (parents at that!) do this type of thing – I can’t fathom it.
      Hope your daughter is doing well.

  10. Hector Ramirez

    Don’t think I can add much to what’s already said. But this little girl is a true hero to all those close to her and all she comes in contact with, (I include myself here, via this post). To go through such an experience and still keep moving forward. Also, well done to her parents for advocating for her, she’s clearly in very hands.

  11. Lilly

    Wonder by RJ Palacio should be required reading for kids everywhere – and pig ignorant parents.

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