We went to the playground on Saturday. Several children ran up, crept up, sidled up next to me…to ask about Adelaide.
“Is she contagious?”
“What happened to her?”
“Will she ever get better?”
“Can she poop in a toilet?”
“Does she talk?”
“Is your life hard?”
I squatted down next to Adelaide’s wheelchair. Answered all their questions. Or at least tried to answer them.
Parents were squirming. Parents were trying to get their kids away. Parents were internalizing all the intrinsic awkwardness of childhood interactions. Shuffling their feet and thinking everyone was judging them.
“Are they bothering you?”
“No! Of course not! We love questions!”
Huge smile on my face.
This is our life.
It’s our job to teach the next generation that it’s okay to be curious. We should be encouraging it. She could grow up to become the geneticist who finally discovers how Adelaide’s brain came to be this way. Or he could just be full of questions and needs answers.
Either way, we answer with kindness.