I know. I know. I am not the only person in a trans-racial family who has experienced this scenario! I know I am not the only person who has to think before I speak back to strangers when asked this (or a variety of any other inappropriate questions). I know that there will be a lifetime ahead of me to explain, defend, or even be dumbfounded by certain people, and I just have to get over it. At this point, it just makes me laugh! But here are a few scenarios that stick out!
Scene: Local Park
Three kids, clearly friends, but close in age to K! We arrive and I let him go play. I sit down on a bench to watch him (about 10 feet from where he is). The mom/adult supervision of the other group stares at me and back at him as he is yelling, “Mommy, look at me!!! I go on slide all by myself!!!” I am clapping and cheering and telling him how proud I am of him!!! Finally, I see her shifting in her seat and she leans over to say, “Oh I didn’t think you were his mother! I mean, he is so dark! I assumed you were his babysitter…or something!” Now it’s at this point that I see K trying to “play” with the other kids (her “people”). Before I can respond to her, I hear one of this kids comment on K’s skin color and say “Yucky!!!” Again, before I can comprehend the scenario that’s happening on the playground, the mom continues, “I bet you aren’t his real Mom. Are you like his stepmom? So your husband is black, right?”
Yes friends, I am in shock and awe at this point. Do I slap her? Not worth it! Do I cuss her out? Not worth it! No… I just take a yoga breathe and think about the situation (Side note: I have been teaching K to do this when he gets frustrated and wants to throw a tantrum! Take the yoga breathe baby!!!). Not only is there ignorance happening in the adult zone, but there is racism happening on the recycled plastic jungle gym!
My response to her was simple, “Actually, I don’t know who his Daddy is! (Her mouth dropped). And yes, I am his real Mom! And clearly your ignorance and bigotry is influencing the little people in your life. You might want to deal with that!” I stood up and went to K and asked him if he wanted to go on the swings! He gladly jumped out of the wood chips, waved bye to them and ran off ahead of me while we played red light, green light!
Oh Target, you tempt me with your dollar bins and cute shoes. You entice me with your food area and cheap triple feature movies, but you also house some crazies!
Pushing K in the cart around Target and I am having him point out letters he sees and colors he recognizes. He is talking up a storm and we are laughing, as usual. Random shopper with her grandchild (I think/assume) says, “Well hello there!!! Aren’t you a talker?” I smile and instruct him to say thank you! She seemed sweet enough…until, “You must get a lot of strange looks from people!” I know what she means, but I want HER to say it out loud. I respond with, “I am not sure what you mean?” She guffaw’s, wants to say something but chooses not to and says, as she’s walking away, “Have a nice day!” I scream back, “You too Ma’am!” with K saying, “See you later!!!” In my mind, I am thinking, I sure hope we don’t see you later!
Urgent care doctor who wouldn’t even touch K
Urgent care nurse who kept asking K if I was his real mother and almost berating him by asking him the SAME question over and over again when I had an over 100 degree temp.
Parent at McDonald’s who grabbed her kid away from K and told her in a stern voice that she wasn’t allowed to play with those people.
Just to name a few!
My son cracks me up! I am sure that he isn’t a savant and certainly couldn’t be the only child who makes up words, but I like to capture them and remember them, because soon enough, he won’t make things up like this! It’s all about creating memories!!!
Eye sashes (eye lashes)
Slip slops (flip flops)
Wish Wiper (Windshield wiper)
Christmas Pizza (a pizza that is delivered by a person to our door)
Fire slide-rant (fire hydrant)
“I got a pickle!” (a pimple that turned out to be an ingrown hair)
“We go eat ‘M’” (Eating at McDonalds)
Donut Truck (UPS truck)