Thursday, October 29, 2009

Talking to Strangers

Imagine you're in a public place. Say a school. Maybe you're at a junior high school choir concert, for example. Purely hypothetical. And say you have a special-needs 8-y-o daughter who loves to talk to strangers. Only they don't stay strangers long.

You try to keep up with her, to set some limits, and sometimes, you have to resort to damage control.

Just imagine you are panicked for just a moment, when you realize she's gotten away while you helped another daughter get a drink of water, or while you were being introduced to your older daughter's school friends.

But then you locate her, and quickly catch up to her, because she's actually not running, at least, not for now. She's got a stranger by the hand, swinging that arm back and forth, and saying, "What's your name? What school do you go to? Do you ride in a carseat? Are you gonna have a baby? Why?"

Sometimes you feel compelled to answer her questions for this kindly stranger, who has miraculously not objected to being touched, handled, and interrogated. You do feel compelled, right? I mean, come on. What do you say?

And aren't you glad when this sweet stranger says kind things back to your darling, like when they ask questions in return? Oh, yes you are. Most definitely! Glad, and relieved. Some precious souls are just so understanding, and I LOVE them.

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