Three school mornings ago when the kindergarteners were putting their backpacks away, the loudest boy in class stood next to us and said as a taunt, "Is that your mom?"
Abe's reaction was to furrow his eyebrows, fold his arms for a second, then shove the boy.
I took Abe in the hallway to talk about things. We named all the kids he knows who don't look like their parents. He agreed they all love each other. He agreed that the best reaction in the future might be just to answer, "Yes, that's my mom" because really, shoving the loudest kid in class is only going to cause you problems.
I mentioned the interaction to his teacher to give her a heads-up for the day. She was glad I told her.
The very next day after school, Abe's teacher told me that she had read to the whole class my favorite adoption book A Mother For Choco. Afterwards, half the kids raised their hands when asked if they knew what 'adoption' meant.
She then asked for a show of hands for anyone who knows someone who is adopted. Abe's hand shot up, and according to the teacher and the student-teacher, he said, "I'm adopted. I was also chosen."
For any educators out there, this is how you do it.
What the what? How did my five-year-old become so confident and well-spoken? You mean, he actually is listening when we whisper these things to him? The last time I remember using the word "chosen" to describe my son was well over a year ago. I guess he actually does hear us.