I put on my public education hat and say to the about five or six year old "Nothing is wrong with him. He is just a bit different than you".
The child and her friend look skeptical and dare I say the one asking the questions had an offensive tone about her as she asked what are usually innocent questions.
"His legs are not able to walk" I continue.
"Well he looks weird. He keeps making that noise". She was referring to the vocalizing my boy does when new folks are around and he wants to engage. It involves a bit of tongue thrusting. a small sort of growling and humming sound.
"He saw that you were here and he is happy about that and he wants you to know that".
There was no talking to this kid. Her mind was made up. My boy was different and weird and that was the end of it. She grabbed her friends hand, barked "let's go" and they did.
I have to say I was a bit taken aback with this kid and her words. I have answered many a question in my day about my kids and enjoy the opportunity to teach the younger ones and hopefully instill some acceptance and encourage a sense of inclusion. I don't mind the queries if they are made with an open mind and heart. I welcome them in fact. This kid however had mean girl written all over her. I have never in raising thirteen kids with unique qualities met a little person so full of disdain and an unwillingness to accept difference. How sad for her and how sad for those she will eventually come into contact with as she grows. Here's hoping she develops a more softened heart.
In the meantime however I drop kicked the made for cheerleader uniform little darling across the water park. In my head of course.