I get many, many comments when I am out with little M. Usually people just want me to know that my little girl is cute, which is sweet, and only unwelcome in that my non-extroverted little self does not always want to talk to ALL of the strangers at the mall.
Then, sometimes (usually when I am at the end of my patience rope) I get a question or comment that is neither sweet, nor welcome.
A few weeks ago we were running some errands and were on a time crunch. I was counting servings on the back of some candy bags, and didn’t notice a woman staring until she came closer and closer.
I ignored her staring until she nudged me, and nodded toward Mackenzie. “she’s very cute,” she said.
I smiled in her direction, and went back to candy counting.
Then, she leaned in front of me, and said, “do you ever wish you had natural children?”
I was caught up in candy, and at first assumed she thought I was little M’s baby sitter. So I said, “Oh, I’m her mom.” And then it hit me what she was asking…and assuming.
She wasn’t done. She started to explain what she meant, and I cut her off.
And I was angry. I was angry that she assumed things about people she didn’t know, and I was angry that she voiced her thoughts.
Despite all of that, I smiled graciously and moved us away. Not.
I told her I understood what she meant, and asked why she felt the need to ask such an inappropriate question in front of my daughter. And then I removed little M and myself, all the while muttering under my breath.
I wish I could say that I was gracious and charming, and managed to reply kindly, and that my reply somehow educated a stranger on adoption awareness.
But no. I was rude.
I am happy to say that I have since rehearsed a gracious and kind reply. Next time I will be ready…