The other day, I was glad that we talk about it. Patrick was waiting for me after school. This gave him a few minutes to talk to other students because it's possible that I'm usually near the end of the line. (Being punctual is over-rated, right? Right?). A kid who it turns out lives in our neighborhood was messing with him about Halloween. We had left a bowl of candy outside the door because, of course, we were all out trick-or-treating. :) So, the kid was saying stuff about how he and his friends were going to go back and take all the candy. Blah, blah. Typical obnoxious teenage stuff. But, then he said that they didn't because "that's ok, we'll just let the adopted kids be happy." Then, he, apparently, saw my son's face, thought better of his comment, and headed home. It wasn't the worst thing that he could have said. But, it certainly wasn't the best.
When I got there and he told me about it, I wasn't sure what to say. This might be the first time that anyone had implied that being one of the adopted kids was anything but a good thing. Even with the elementary school, it hadn't gone beyond a "You're his mom?" with understandable surprise in their voices. When that happens, I usually respond with a smile and say something to the effect of "Yep! How about that?" :) And, life moves on.
But, this kid said it like it was a bad thing?? I think that's what I said to Patrick. Or maybe I just thought it. But, the point is, I don't get it. You're saying it like it's a bad thing. When, in all honesty, it's the best thing that has happened to all of us. We are a family because of adoption. In this bizarre, exhausting world, we are together because of adoption.
When Patrick told Brian about it, he responded with something that we have told William; the reminder that we chose them and this kid's parents had to take what they got. I hope that doesn't sound too harsh. But, we're just trying to give them a little edge here. :) And he added the question of "How confident is he that his parents would be happy about that if they knew the things he was saying?" Later, Jennice (my friend/babysitter/godmother to the kids) had a similar emotional response when she heard about it.
Meanwhile, Patrick seemed fine. The kid has a thick skin for the outside world. He has had to. Brian and I were still the ones ranting, long after Patrick had moved on to getting his afternoon snack.
It makes me mad because it's just not cool, but also because I want to protect my kids from all of it. Everything. But, I can't. And, that's, also, not cool.
In the mean-time, I have to take my own advice and try to have a sense of humor about it. Because, in the end, all of the rude kids in the word can't touch us. We are a family.
So, the other day, on our way home, the kid was riding his bike in the neighborhood and Patrick made the mistake of pointing him out to me. In the absence of many other reasonable options, I said that I was going to glare at him. So, I did. As we drove by, I turned to give him the angry mom look. And, guess what? He was looking the other way, totally oblivious to me. haha.
Greatly disappointed, I continued home. We got in the driveway and I hopped out to see where he went. But, guess what? He was gone. This kid was really working against me! Patrick promised that he had glared, on my behalf, and, got ready to head inside; until I started down the driveway, muttering things like "Where is that kid? Where does he live?" This led to a jokingly dramatic scene of Patrick dragging me into the house and saying things like "Mommy, get in the house!" :)
I don't know what I would have said if I actually encountered the kid. I would hope that I would've let him know that his comments were inappropriate. But, of course, in middle school, that could've made Patrick's life more complicated. This is, sadly, the reason that William doesn't want me to email the school about the kid who is messing with him at school. :(
So, all I can do is stay proud of who we are, do our best to keep the kids proud of who they are, remember not to take things too seriously, hope that these occurrences are unusual, be ready for the big and the small talks, and, apparently, put an alarm on the Halloween candy. :)