We’ve started swimming lessons and in the locker room our first day, a lady oohh’ed and aahh’ed over Teddy, exclaiming how cute he is. We made small talk for a few minutes, and when I got him out of his Ergo, she saw how long he is. And then she asked a very simple question that I had no idea how to respond to: “Is his dad tall?”
Well, no. And, maybe.
This very nice lady was (presumably) assuming my husband is black. And if so, if he were tall, that would explain Teddy’s length. Because I’m pretty average, so he’s clearly not getting it from me.
I could have answered this with a simple, “Nope.” And left it at that. And probably left the poor lady really confused. “We have no idea where he’s getting his length–our whole family is pretty average!”
Another answer leads to way more questions than I want to get into with a nice stranger in a locker room right before going out to swim lessons.
“His dad isn’t tall, but his birth dad might be–we’re not sure.” Yeah, hate that response.
In the end, I didn’t go with either, but my response was awkward all the same, something along the lines of, “Oh, he’s adopted…but we do wonder if he’s going to be tall!”
We’ve received advice about how to answer questions about Teddy’s history that we’re not comfortable talking about: tell the person asking that that information is Teddy’s to share and we’re saving it for him. And then move on to safer territory.
(For the record, I haven’t yet received a question I feel compelled to use this response for. Actually, that’s not entirely true. There have been a couple times when I haven’t wanted to share the details a virtual stranger was asking for, but it felt rude and unnecessary to do anything other than simply answer the question.)
But advice about simple questions such as the above? Nada. Guess it’s time to stalk those adoption forums again…