|Artist: Mary Cassatt|
Last year just a month or two after adopting and coming home from Chile with our second son, I ran into an acquaintance at the grocery store. I found our encounter a little bit funny and a little bit bizarre.
Sometimes it's not really what people say but the way they say it that's odd. Then again, a lot of the time, it is what they say. She saw me pushing C in a stroller and stopped to talk with me. But social graces were rather lacking I'm afraid. She greeted me abruptly and asked me who this child was which is a valid question in a way. I proudly introduced my new son to her and said we had just brought him home from Chile a couple of months ago. I thought congratulations were in order personally. ;) However, she stared at him and asked dubiously "Your son? This is your son? You aren't just taking care of him for someone?" Excellent question. It's always best to make sure that someone isn't just trying to pass off a random child as their newly adopted one. I assured her that yes, he really was my son! I was sure of it! She stared at me for a moment and then charmingly said "It always seems strange to me to see such a large child being pushed in a stroller." Ah yes. Exactly what we'd been speaking about right? I can see how this could greatly concern someone. I didn't feel the need to explain my reasons for pushing this large child in a stroller to her though so I settled for smiling at her and ending the conversation by wishing her a slightly amused lovely day and walking away.
I notice that this stroller issue is indeed a pressing one though. Occasionally people have wondered aloud as we pass why "a big boy like that" isn't walking on his own! Like we're celebrities! I especially like that generally this isn't actually asked to me directly, just in my hearing. That'll show me. ;) Forget the current crisis in Europe, forget the current scandal with Planned Parenthood, this large-child-in-stroller thing is really everyone's business.
I keep thinking I will address these people who never address me directly. That I should thank them for their concern. I never do though. Of course my reasons for this are nobody's business. I do wonder sometimes though if just to give them a little pause, I should tell them that this large boy in the stroller was so ill he was hospitalized for the first year of his life, didn't walk until he was after two, and in the first information we received about him, they said there was a chance he may need to spend his life in a wheelchair. It just goes to show you never know so why in the world bother judging such an insignificant thing like a kid in a stroller?
Little C can walk almost perfectly now though.
The thing is though that even if there is no reason whatsoever for a bigger child to be in a stroller, or not to be speaking perfectly by a certain age, etc., etc., really who cares? There are many things in a child's life and about a child's development that outsiders know nothing about. This is an important thing to remember. One I may write about again. :)
Allow children to be children. Allow them to be who they are. They'll grow up soon enough.