It finally happened. Someone said something so mean and rude about Sully and his hemangioma that it made me cry. I still can't believe it happened. Sully and I were having a great day. We headed over to my friend's house to meet her week old little man and brought the new parents some food. The new little guy is so adorable and sweet and Sully was so good and smiley and giggly. Afterward, we went to super Target for stuff and groceries. (BTW, I scored two hot pink food and water bowls for the cat in the dollar bins) We were at the check out when it happened. There was a mom(sister?babysitter?) with two kids behind me in line. Naturally, I had a ridiculous amount of stuff and was waiting for it to get rung up. One of the kids behind me in line, a girl, probably about 7, was talking to her brother about Sully. She got this sour grape look in her face and said to her brother, "Look at that baby. He is NOT cute. Look at his head!" I was in so much shock that I didn't do anything and tried to just brush it off. I mean, she is 7, give her a break, right? Well, about 60 seconds later, she said the exact same thing to her brother, again with the sour grape, disgusted look on her face. Now, I am not her mother so it is not my job to make sure she is well behaved and not being rude or a jerk but the mother(or who ever the adult with them was) was too preocupied with texting or facebooking on her phone and was totally oblivious to what was going on. All of a sudden, a burning, hot gob of protective mother raged bubbled from within and I had to say something in defense of my sweet boy. "What did you say?" came out of my mouth before I knew I was thinking it. The girl looked away and sort of tried to hide behind her brother. "What did you say?" I again questioned. No response from the girl but now the adult with them looked at the girl and asked her the same thing. Again, no response, just looking away and hiding behind her brother. "Did you have a question?" I asked. Yeah, there was no way she was talking to me so I went on, "It is a birthmark. It doesn't hurt him and it will some day go away." Still no response from the girl. The adult with the kids said "oh, yeah, you know about birthmarks, I have two on my stomach." As she went back to her texting or facebooking. "Sorry" the adult said very insincerely as she was busy with her phone. I decided to end the conversation at that point. Clearly the girl was embarassed and probably learned her lesson to not say such rude comments. As far as the adult with the kids, she was not offering up any sort of parenting at that time. The backs of my eyes were burning and I was just trying to hold it together until I could get the hell out of there. I paid for my junk and groceries and hurried to my car, in the rain.
I am worried about him getting teased about the hemagioma. Obviously, he had no idea he was getting talked about that way today but someday he will. I don't know why kids have to be so mean but I know I won't always be there to deflect their comments or call them out on it. I can't control others behavior, only how I react to it. And at some point, it won't be about the hemangioma but something else ridiculous and superficial. I only hope that I can give him enough self worth and that he has enough self esteem to be able to shrug off any rude comments. I also hope that I can instill compassion into him so that he can empathize with others and accept differences in people. And I hope that I can be mature enough and even tempered enough to react in a polite and respectful way when it occurs in front of me because rudeness on top of rudeness is not the answer.
Sully fell asleep in the car and I soothed my hurt feelings with a DQ cherry dipped cone (my fave). Then I thought of the Flight of the Concords song "Hurt Feelings" all the way home. Yes, we will be alright...life goes on...there will be another day.