Saturday, February 6, 2016

Did you really just say that?

When Bella was a brand new babe, I was at my sister-in-laws house. I was nursing her on the couch and her tiny little not even six pound body was covered almost completely by the nursing cover. Another mom walked in to pick up and some small talk occurred between the three of us, her, my sister in law and myself. She had adopted a little boy and was discussing his adoption process. She talked about "cleft lips and palates" and I remember her saying "well it's not like he's missing his arms or legs". I remember my sister in law looking at me. I remember thinking I wanted to lay my sweet girl on the couch and punch this other mom in her smiling face. 

My mind was racing with a million thoughts. My heart felt a twinge of pain for my child and for me. I don't remember what followed after that situation. I don't recall if I said something or not. Trust me, there were a million times when she was small that I did say something rude in response to someone's rude comment. I remember thinking that this was the first situation we would encounter but it certainly wouldn't be the last. 

I specifically remember an old woman at the grocery store asking ""Oh my gosh what happened to her hand?" My response "Oh my God, we had it when we came in here!" She said nothing and walked away. She probably wanted to curl up in a hole in that very moment. There were also times I was able to pull it together and say something educational. Sometimes it was as simple as "she was born like this", sometimes it was more in depth. 

What is the right thing to say in situations when people say things like this? I can't say for sure. I can say that if I can pull myself together, education is best. Educating others on the situation, educating others on our circumstances, educating them on the right thing to say to people, teaching them how to treat people kindly and with respect. I think that's the biggest thing, while they need to learn, they ultimately need to understand what is the right way to treat someone that's different than them. 

So my daughter, born with only her 5 fingers, ended up in daycare with this mama's adopted boy. It wasn't something that was ever talked about... I wonder if she remembers her comment from that day. I wonder if she knows the way she made me feel. I wonder if she knows how thankful I am that my daughter wasn't able to understand what she said. I wonder if now she thinks of things a little different. 

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