"Your children are so beautiful!"
Hmm, why, yes, they are, thank you! We are very blessed!
What if they were white like us? What if they weren't black? What if they were not "cute"? What if they had a "disability"? What if they had a "deformity"? What if our kiddos looked like every other white, middle class kiddo out there? What if we didn't stand out? Would the kids still be so beautiful!? Would you tell me?
I know, I know, we signed up to be a conspicuous family. We know we stand out. We know we will be noticed wherever we go as a family, forever. It's ok. Really.
I know, your righteous indignation will spout out that every child is beautiful, regardless of color, family origin, health status, abilities, etc. I agree. But if virtually anyone would say that almost without thinking, why are we getting so many comments?
Ok, here are some things my children do well:
(Charity, skip this part because I'm using "we" again)
- We don't make a mess at meal times (usually)
- We are kind to each other
- We are observant of what is around us
- We give hugs and kisses to Mama, Daddy, and our brother/sister
- We are not possessive about our toys
- We obey Mama and Daddy
- We follow rules
- We go to bed with minimal fuss
- We enjoy playing with new people
- We are healthy
- We are learning quickly
- We are helpful
- We explore new things
- We are happy and ready to giggle
Why single the kiddos out for being "beautiful"? Of course, our family and friends have to call our kiddos "beautiful". If they didn't, we'd hunt them down and force the confession out of them. But what about everyone else?
I don't really have an answer. Or maybe I do. I don't know. I probably don't need one. It's just one of those things that is nagging on the back of our brains. Maybe the problem is that the focus is on the kiddos' outward trappings, rather than who they are. They are not their skin color. They are not even their unique family situation. They are people. Ordinary people that have had extraordinary experiences coming into their family. They are more than "beautiful".
I wish people said:
"They treat each other so kindly!"
"Your kiddos radiate joy"
"Your kiddos are such clean eaters!"
"How blessed you are to parent them!"
"What fun they must bring you"
"What a beautiful family!"
I wish people saw past the fact that we stand out. But, then, I guess if they saw past that, we wouldn't stand out anymore, which would be what it should be. I wish people saw past the attractiveness of different skin colors, past the "oh-wow-you-must-be-saints" of adoption, past the "I wonder what their story is?", past the white-parent-black-kids-eating-organic-hippy-tie-dye-and-tattoos, and saw us as just.... just people. Just a family. Just parents and kiddos. Beautiful because we're a loving family. Not beautiful-er than anyone else.
Just food for thought. I'm done now.