"Excuse me?" she asked. She had an exasperated look on her face. I stopped and looked at her. "Would you mind talking to me son for a minute?"
My guess is that the boy didn't stop pestering his mother, asking her questions impatiently and persistently about the small man he had just seen on the street. I don't remember what I said to the boy, but I appreciated that the mother approached me. It's better to answer the questions then to ignore them, and it's much better to answer the question then to scold a child for asking. The hope is that, if the questions are answered, especially if the answers come straight from a little person, the child will understand that, besides height and stature, little people are fairly typical. Next time the child sees a little person on the street, he will treat the person as typical, rather than pestering a parent or treating the little person as some kind of anomaly. The mother in Toronto probably handled her son's curiosity better than anyone else who has had a question about my stature.
|Accessible Platform at Ohio Street Beach in Chicago|
"Could I introduce you to my son?" the mother asked. "He has some questions." We all stood there for a few minutes, outside the cafe, talking.
I can't imagine there is anything easy about parenting. I certainly am not one to give advice about parenting, because I know nothing about it. But if I were to give advice on the subject of curious children with questions about people who look different, I would say, "Let the children ask questions." And if at all possible, let the people who look different answer those questions.