The other morning I walked into the kitchen and found Tornado & Ren Man
deep in conversation.
You remember Miss. Sarah. He was saying. You just saw her a few weeks ago.
The Tornado furrowed her brow and appeared to be deep in thought (is there anything better than facial expressions of kindergartners? is that really how we adults appear to them: all dramatics & theatrics?).
Ahhhhh yes. She pronounced. I do remember her. (dramatic pause) WAIT! (puts hand in Ren Man’s face in universal symbol for STOP) Is she the one who is, uh, um, straight like us (another dramatic pause) or not?
Ill admit my heart stopped as I was shocked to hear that term come out of her 5.8743 year old mouth.
I’m a liberal misfit Mama so it wasnt the gay/straight thing that bothered me. Just the fact she’d obviously (already?!) “learned” about these terms from her peers.
And that had not been my Mama-plan.
I did what I always do when taken aback by the words which emerge from her mouth.
I bought myself time by asking her to elaborate.
Straight like we are? I asked. What do you mean?
You know, she said. Like this (and she made a straight up & down motion in front of her belly).
In that moment it became crystal clear to Ren Man and me what she meant. Our friend, Sarah, was 8 months pregnant and definitely *not* straight like us.
You mean is she the one with a baby in her belly? Ren Man asked.
The Tornado nodded. I didnt want to ask if she had a big belly. I know that isnt nice to say.
(I’ll let you sit with that for a moment. Or at least pretend you, as I did, need to let it sink in.)
This exchange left me wondering more than a few things.
This exchange made me crave writing & wonder more than a few times what YOU would have done in this situation & how YOU would have responded.
(read: Im a big fan of
passworded blogs only I can read journaling but sometimes life simply calls for crowdsourcing.)
Quite frankly it caused me to wonder if we havent grown too politically correct in our words when the Tornado was apprehensive about asking if Miss Sarah was the one with the big belly in the privacy of her own home.
It sparked me to ponder from where (teachers? peers?) she’s internalized asking about Miss Sarah’s ‘big belly’ wasnt a nice to do.
Have *I* taught that (by default) through squelching her outside the house questions with the rote response of : Everyone is different. We all have a unique look and that’s what makes us special.
I wondered if you, too, would have thought she was asking if Miss. Sarah was a heterosexual like
we us are.
By way of full disclosure in the moment I did nothing.
(you can leave my mom of the year trophy on the porch)
I let the conversation naturally flow to Miss Sarah and her baby, but feel in my misfit heart of hearts the chat remains unfinished.
What would YOU have done?
PLEASE to hit me up with your wisdom below.
I’ll meet you there.
*Like we. I know. It’s like we are straight. That error makes me nuts even from a sweet sweet five year old.