Mary Dell (marydell) wrote,

Skipping a teachable moment

There is a kid in the neighborhood who is just not getting his head around the concept of Charlie.  This kid, who I'll call X, is 6, and asks about Charlie's arm almost every time he sees him, in particular wanting to know if it's going to "grow back."  He's not a starfish, young man.  Every other kid who hangs out on our end of the block is fond of Charlie, asked once or twice about his arm, and now they just want to play with him and say hi. (X is also the kid who asked if Charlie is a "China boy," as I believe I mentioned, but if I didn't, there you go).  So I'm getting a bit irritated with X.

Today we encountered three kids, two of whom predictably went "Charlie! Hi Charlie, say hi!" and smiled at him. The third kid, X, asked about his frickin arm AGAIN! Mike's brother, who hadn't ridden this ride with X yet, started to give the "that's just how God made him" answer (I tend to give the "he was born like that" variant or the "he's just different" one), but I found myself snapping "you've asked that question about a hundred times, X, you need to stop asking."  Then to take the sting out of it, since all three kids were a little startled (I am not usually peppery with kids) I encouraged Charlie to say hi, and I was smiley.

A tiny part of me feels bad, because natural curiosity blah blah blah.  But a much bigger part of me thinks that if you don't understand something after the first couple of times you've asked about it, you need to just shut the hell up about it, even if you are only 6, because DUDE. 
Tags: adoption, charlie, disability, racism
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