(Continued from Introductory)
“Mommy! I missed you so much!” She came over and hugged my waist, her 7-year-old scared little hands gripping at my sweatshirt.
What had happened in such a short period of time?
Confused, I looked down at Avery, who still had fistfuls of my clothing. Her voice was muffled as she spoke into my stomach. “I’m really scared, Mommy, really scared.”
I looked over at her little brother, who shrugged. “Can I stay up and watch tv?” He was completely oblivious.
“What happened? Why are you scared?” I tried to peel her off of me so I could hold her at arm’s length. She didn’t say a word.
I looked up at Tayler.
“I’d better get going.” She looked shaken and more than a little upset. What had gone on in this house?
After Taylor had left, Avery ran up to me, her eyes filled with tears. “What is it? What’s the matter, honey?”
She hugged me. “Mommy- I’m scared, and I know I’m not supposed to be.”
Memories flashed into my mind of my mom telling me of an abusive babysitter. I shuddered, then looked over at 4-year-old Hunter, whose eyes were cemented on the antics of the characters on “Teen Titans Go!” An episode that I distinctly remember him already watching.
“Tell me what happened.”
“Okay, so we were coloring. Look, I drew a picture for you. It’s purple, ‘cause I know that’s your favorite color and-
“Oh, yeah. We were coloring and Taylor, she… she…”
“She what?” Now I was totally panicked.
“She adjusted her wig. She doesn’t have HAIR!”
I took a breath, relief cascading over me, causing me to shiver a bit. “Okay, so what’s the problem?” I tried to see it through the eyes of my child. “Daddy’s bald.”
“Yeah, but Daddy’s a BOY. It just really scared me.”
So this was it. I was caught between the feelings of my daughter, who I didn’t want to merely brush aside, and those of this poor girl, who was obviously shaken by Avery’s reaction to her.
“You should never be scared of someone just because they’re different. If someone has skin that’s a different color than yours, are you scared?”
“Good. If someone can’t walk and has to use a wheelchair to get around, are you scared?”
“Of course not, but-“
“If someone’s outward appearance is in any way different from us… the way they dress, the formation of their hands, their HAIR, we should never be scared, because inside, we’re all made of the same stuff.”
There. That sounded Mom-ish.
“I know I’m not supposed to be freaked out, Mom, I just AM.”