I toted Sean to an ‘unfamiliar to us’ playground. We gathered our things, exited the car and headed for the location.
As we walk through the gate and onto the splash pad, I instantly feel something is different. This is a completely foreign experience and I am not used to it.
Mom’s keep talking to each other, and no one turns around. Not one little kid stops in their tracks to watch us as we come through the gate. There is no undo attention. He simply joins the other kids.
No one pretends that they are not looking at us.
This is because it is the right season to be out of school. Not one person – never mind three – ask him ‘What, no school today?’ He is not a teenager, missing some class period, in the middle of the day. He has just the right skin color for no one to be concerned that he is at the park alone. He matches me perfectly and no one asks ‘is that your son’ or where I got him. He has all of his hair and no one gives him that pitiful looks reserved for children with cancer. He has just the right number of chromosomes and his behavior falls into pretty acceptable social norms.
So we blend.
It is incredibly strange. I don’t often realize the way that I steel myself for the situations I will find myself when I am in the company of several or all of my boys. I get it, and I don’t. Some days I have more tolerance for it and some days less. It’s always there, but during this experience, in it’s absence, I feel a hard time relaxing and settling into quiet oblivion.
It’s odd being nearly normal.