October 17, 2010

#17/31 Harumph

Yesterday Hannah and I went to a local parade/festival.   It was your typical craft/funnel cake/inflatable bounce house festival.    The funds raised were to benefit a technical high school in the area.

It was a chilly morning (upper 40s), and I forgot to bring the collapsible chairs. The grass along the parade route was dewy.  No matter.  We sat on our reusable recycled plastic Trader Joe's grocery tote bags.

It was the s-l-o-w-e-s-t parade in the world.   It was home-towny in a town that is not so small.  Groups of Boy Scouts, Dance teams, church missions, and a clown or two thrown in for good measure.  There was one marching band, saved for the end (which was about 2.5 hours later).   It was rather disjointed.

But they were tossing candy to the child spectators, which Hannah liked very much.   Of course, she couldn't eat most of what they offered since she has braces.  She didn't mind.

About an hour in to the parade, following an Irish Dance troupe, a bunch of people wearing red shirts appeared. They had candy and stickers and flyers supporting the local Republican candidate for US Congress, Eric Cantor.   After receiving hand-delivered candy along with a glossy brochure of Mr. Cantor, Hannah wanted to know which of the parade-sters was Eric Cantor.   I wasn't expecting him to actually be there, but, ta-daa, as soon as I spoke those words, I saw him.  So I pointed him out as he worked the crowd, shaking hands with everyone.   He was coming our way.

Hannah was excited, thinking that he was a famous person (well, he is the Republican Whip).  She knew he worked in Washington DC.  Hannah is rather patriotic, and in her simplistic understanding of government, that meant that Mr Cantor, in her mind, ranked up there with Firefighters, Police Officers and Veterinarians.  That's pretty high in her books.   She put her "Cantor for Congress" sticker on her shirt.

Here he came!  He was shaking hands with the people right next to us!  He looked directly at Hannah who was waving and getting ready to say hi.  Then he looked directly into my eyes.  And then, without a smile, he silently turned and walked away.

She wasn't crestfallen.   She didn't have much invested in Mr. Cantor. He serves our country, he provided candy, and his people wore her favorite color, red.

I had even less invested in Mr. Cantor before this non-incident.
But he managed to further reduce any interest I might have had for him.

My interpretation is that Mr. Cantor was uncomfortable with my child who has a disability. It was a small slight, but one that was completely unnecessary.

And now I'm harumphing about it.

We lasted a bit longer watching the parade before heading over to where the craft stalls were.  Hannah had fun looking at all the items.  We came across one vendor who runs an art studio.  She had a collage-making station, so Hannah got right to work.

We also got to see the Da Capo display--the music school where Hannah has recently started taking private lessons.

She played some games-- mini-golf challenge, ring toss, etc--and won little prizes.  We watched some dancers perform on a stage.   Ate our fair food, and headed home.   It was a good way to spend half a Saturday.  I just wish I didn't have to witness a grown man being afraid to talk to my daughter.


Anonymous said...

The saddest part about your story is that Cantor is representing ALL people. Being 2010, I would wish for anyone running for anything political would be able to see beyond his own self-gratification.

I'm happy to hear that Hannah went on with the fun festivities. I love craft shows, too. Love the video. Now that looks like a fun time!

Brandie said...

How lame, all he had to do was say "hi". How is he going to be able to represent anyone with such weak character?

Anonymous said...

That makes me sad too. However, I'm quite happy that Hannah didn't let such a small minded person get her down. My vote is for Hannah! (not some Washington Weasel)


Cheryl said...

Boooo!!! Mr.Cantor!

Anonymous said...

Hi, coming over from Gary Benders blog! I have a daughter who is 11 with Down syndrome and I'm loving reading about your Hannah's adventures. It's so nice not to be always reading about babies and to hear more about what is in store! Wonderful reading- thanks!