I took Finola and Vivienne to the dermatologist the other day. Finola sat in the waiting room with Primo, who was sleeping in his car seat, while I went in to see the doctor with Vivienne.
When Viv and I came out of the doctor's office there was another teen girl with her Mom in the waiting room.
As soon as we were out the door of the waiting room, Finola started laughing and telling us that when the other girl and her Mom came into the waiting room she heard the girl say to her Mom, "She has a baby." The Mom responded with: "It just breaks my heart."
Finola LOVES having these "teen Mom" moments, she thinks it is hysterical that anyone would think that she had a baby.
I always use these moments to remind myself not to judge a person or situation by appearances. I know that most of us are just trying to make sense of the world around us and we therefore interpret and judge certain situations and our fellow human being's actions through the lenses of our own experiences, values and prejudices.
I myself have experienced so much judgement since becoming a foster parent. This judgement happens on the way into the WIC office and on the way out of the WIC office (not at all in the WIC office), and at the grocery store when I'm holding up the check out line using my WIC checks.
Almost every time I am out in public with Primo I get many questions about whether his is "mine" or not? When I have my teenage daughters with me people ask if I am his grandma? Some people are direct, others are more polite and searching with their questions, but I know what they are after, they want to know what such a pale skinned woman is doing with such a beautiful brown baby.
I have experienced judgement and questions before in my life about my own biological daughters. Not anywhere as often as with Primo, but ridiculous comments and questions have been made and asked in public of me before.
Once I was out with Jordan, long ago, when she was a platinum blond, blue eyed toddler, and a strange man told me that Jordan could be the "poster child" for the third reich! THAT was very uncomfortable.
Another time when I was Christmas shopping with all four girls, who were all under age eight at the time, an elderly woman stopped and asked if they were all mine? This was a comment I received regularly, along with a "God Bless You!" But, this elderly lady went on to add with great exclamation, "Oh, their poor father!" You can imagine how my daughters felt about that!
I'm sure I will never know why strangers feel so very free to be so inquisitive and judgmental about other people's lives?