I’ve written several blogs in the past about how rude and cruel kids can be on a playground to James. They will walk up to him, stare for a bit, then utter something like,
“Why does he look funny?”
Most of the time I can handle it with grace. Give them the benefit of the doubt saying things to myself like, “They are young. They are not informed. They are scared of different.” And then when the grace leaves I say things like, “Where the hell are your parents and why aren’t they teaching you!” Oh, because they are young and not informed and scared of different.
At any rate, I find myself so on edge when I walk to into the maze of wood and plastic, like I’m going into a boxing ring or battle, as I did the other day.
We weren’t there five minutes when this adorable, and I mean adorable, four-year-old blonde girl walks right up to us. She stares at James for the longest time. Then back at me. Then back at James. I can feel the adrenaline kick in. I tell myself she’s only four. I tell myself that I’m the adult.
I tell myself that whatever she says is not going to hurt James because he doesn’t understand it anyway, and it’s only going to hurt me.
But I can handle it. I am strong enough, seasoned enough, wise enough to handle ANYTHING she can throw at me. I imagined her words bouncing off my invisible coat of armor.
After what seemed like forever, she looks right at me and says,
“Are you somebody’s Grandma?”
White towel thrown. Flag raised.