While leaving the gym childcare room with Eli and Ezra this week, another mom stopped Eli and sent a warning look to one of the workers in the room, as she thought he was trying to escape the room and wasn't my child. She looked at him and said, "stay here, only kids with parents can leave."
I know she was well meaning, and quickly apologized when I explained that he was mine.
But if I'm honest, it made me a little bit angry.
As this isn't the first or second time that a scenario like this has happened.
It won't be the last, either.
My heart hurts for my son who doesn't look like my son and has to have it pointed out to him on a regular basis.
I can't wrap him in bubble wrap, stick some headphones on his ears, and turn his face away from every questioning look...
(even if it has been considered)
But we can talk about it.
Oh, how we can talk about it.
If there is anything that is consistent in all my reading and research on how to best handle these issues, it is that I need to be the instigator of talking about it. Not in a highly-pressurized way, but in a natural take-advantage-of-the-moments conversational kind of way.
"Did I ever tell you about how you have your first mommy's lips?" as I apply chapstick on his lips.
"Do you ever wish that I matched you?" as I rub his back at night.
"Let's look through your Ethiopia books again"
"Lets pretend someone says you don't look like me...what can we say back?" as we ride in the car.
And I can arm him with not just my love, or his Daddy's love, or a heavenly Father's love... but the love of a fiercely protective brother and sister(s) who will fight each other to the death, but stick up for each other in a heartbeat and give the best "of-course-he-is-my-brother-can't-you-see-that-you-crazy-fool-look."
Besides, being all matchy matchy is so 2005, ya know.