Back at home after a particularly long day at work, I bathed the girls in turn. As I was drying Kay, I heard a stranger’s voice from the kitchen below. It turned out to be the handy man who was in to replace our leaky kitchen sink faucet. “She doesn’t look anything like you!” the booming voice proclaimed. I heard K’s voice struggling to be polite as he responded to that rather blunt statement. As I finished dressing Kay and walked down to the kitchen, I noticed him. He lay supine inspecting the underbelly of our sink. Waving Hi! he proceeded to entertain the girls with his small talk. Arms crossed as I do when something bothers me, I was artificially pleasant to the point of going overboard. He was a nice enough man but he started off with the wrong question.
Long after he was gone and yesterday gave way to today, I replayed the conversation from yesterday and ruminated on why it bothered me so much. When we adopted the one thing we thought about and discussed much was the fact that there will be no genetic ties that bind our children and us. It was after much discussion and analysis that we came to the conclusion that the desire to parent transcended the traditional definitions of family. Yet, when we came face to face with the fact that our daughters were nothing like us, defensiveness came rushing from within. I wanted to say “why does it matter?” or “why do you want to know?” or “So what?”. Yet I said nothing choosing to humor his obnoxious curiosity.
This is not the first time nor will it be the last. As I learn to be polite yet protective of my family’s choices, I can’t but help wonder why we have this innate need to know. Why does it matter when something is out of the norm? Does knowing why or what change our view of things? Why do we find it hard to be inclusive? Why do we need to have our choices validated?
Why does it matter to you? Tell me.