Lately, I have found that I feel obligated to explain myself. If I am unable to commit to a function that I have been invited to, I explain that I have a party, theater lessons, swimming lessons, we are going out of town, or I am just too exhausted to attend. If we are late to something, I feel like I need to justify our tardiness by blaming the traffic, the kids, my husband or just life. When someone tells me that Marley is so petite for her age, I feel like I need to explain to them that she is Ethiopian and Ethiopians are small people, or that she was so so tiny at birth and that she has gained 7 pounds while in the United States in the last 6 months. Why do I feel the need to explain myself? Why can't I just say, "I'm so sorry I won't be able to attend your jewelry party?" "We made it," when we are running behind schedule, or "why yes, Marley is petite" when people comment on her size. Why do I feel like a simple answer isn't good enough?
Yesterday, at Miles' acting class, another parent asked Marley's age. When I said 12 months, she immediately responded with, "wow...12 months, she's so tiny!" Okay, so if you know me, this really frustrates me. I know it may sound petty. But what I hear is, " she just isn't perfect in my eyes." Ridiculous, I know. I think she is the most perfect little girl ever! I just don't get why people feel the need to ask her age and why she is so small all the time? Okay, back to this lady at the theater. So after she stated that Marley looked so petite for her age, she did have a curious look on her face, as if she was waiting for an explanation, I told her that Marley was Ethiopian. Still dumbfounded, I further explained that Ethiopians are smaller people. Then she said, "Oh, so your husband is Ehtiopian?" I suppose this would have been a valid question had she not seen my husband, but she had! Brandon is HUGE. Standing at 6'7" he is not petite...lol! So now is it okay for me to call this lady a moron? I replied with, "No, my husband is not Ethiopian. Marley was adopted from Ethiopia." I did it, I explained my situation. But I only did it with the intention of educating this lady thinking I may encourage her to adopt, silly me! This woman pried on. "Well your son isn't petite?" I explained again, "Miles is a tummy baby, you know home grown." No she didn't go there! I don't know this woman from Adam, this was the first time I had ever met her, seriously! She continued, "so you couldn't have anymore children after Miles?" Why didn't I see this as prying and stop right there? Hmmmm? But no, I kept going. "Well, we felt called to adoption and had some situations that confirmed it for us. "Didn't it take a long time," she continued. I won't bore you with the rest, but you get the point.
Just today at Miles' school, a teacher saw me carrying Marley and said, " she's so bitty but seems so grown, how old is she?" When I said 12 months, she asked if she was early, I replied with "actually I have always though of her as very late, but looking back now, I'd have to say that she was right on time!" Yay me!
I'm totally fine, if not overly enthused, to talk about adoption...our adoption to interested folk. But nosy people...that's a different story. I suppose my frustration comes with just a plain lack of words. I need clever, one liners to shut those nosy people up. Or perhaps I just need to quit feeling obligated to sharing our entire story with everyone off the street. Sweet and simple, "why yes she is petite, and perfectly made" should do. Right?