I was picking up my dog from the walker’s house today and she looked at me curiously. I was early for sure and she asked why today I was early I told her I was going to training tonight as it is required for foster parents. She looked at me strangely and said “Can I be honest with you for a minute” I was taken aback but said sure I mean she walks my dog how hard can the questions be. She said
“When I first met you and I saw you with your rainbow family the first thing that went through my head was ‘Hmm wonder how many baby daddies that one has?”
I was shocked silent. I was too stunned to even reply. She continued:
“When I met M2 I thought you were not the most attentive of parent or maybe over indulging because I saw how you talked to her and acted with her. I want to apologize to you and tell you how sorry I am that I thought all those things about you”
I assured her that I had not felt judged or was even aware that she had negative thoughts about me. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and she said “But I was wrong so incredibly wrong and awfully wrong that I have trouble looking at you sometimes because once I got to know you I realized your children are foster or adoptive and M2 is autistic.”
I smiled at her and again reassured her that the thoughts did not impact her actions. She smiled but you could see that she was still down on herself. Then she said “Do you know what I was before I was a dog walker? I was a therapist. A child therapist and for the longest time I wanted to be a foster parent like you but I never did it. I don’t know why and now I am not in love with kids enough to raise them and that is OK. But when I see you doing what you do alone, I am stunned. I could never be you.”
I had to laugh….cripes if only she knew the dark side. If only she knew the doubts, fears and stresses that I hide from the world because I know I am being judged. If only she did know the whole story she would be so disappointed that I am no where near as wonderful and put together as I can appear when in public.
Boy I love assumptions.