Two Moms and Six Kids at the Beach: You Can Imagine the Assumptions
Summer of 2018 has now officially come to an end within the Ponist household. The kids are back in school as of mid-August, it seems like the summer has gone by way too fast. We took many day trips, saw many different beaches. The one confusion that came with each trip was from strangers wondering if we were a family or not. I guess being addressed as mom and mommy isn’t enough sometimes.
The one question that we both have is, what does it matter? There is a need in society to know another person’s personal business. Something I can never understand is why do people care just to have information on another’s life. Unless the reason is out of love or protection, that I can understand.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just weird. Kristin always tells me that I am different than most people, I guess I’m just a rare breed. Still, I feel sorry for others now I’m realizing first-hand that people who do not know us have assumptions about our children.
For example, several times over the past few weeks, Kristin was asked if Gavin is hers. Her answer every time was “they are all mine.” I applaud her for that, the convo pretty much ends there. She could go into detail and explain she carried him or he is her biological child. But why go into depth with a stranger, who then replies with “Wow, six kids, that’s brave.”
The one thing I can say on my end: not one person ever asks me if I am a parent at all. Visibly being a tomboy, I do not get any credit until said strangers realize we must be a couple, then I am considered a parent.
Then there was this situation that was completely unexpected. Just last week we went to a very nice beach on Florida’s west coast. We left our house around 10:30 a.m. and arrived at the beach just before 11:30 a.m. The kids were all excited, it was Day 3 of our week’s staycation.
We were smart that week because we learned to feed the kids their lunch in the car prior to arriving to each beach. Simply, not having to worry about sandy sandwiches or them wanting to play right away but needing to eat first. Then when were settled in our spot, the kids played in the sand as we get to eat our lunch for a few minutes. For us, it just made sense and was less chaos.
Let me tell you, we were there for 15-20 minutes max and a random man walked up. He asked Kristin if he could give our kids juice. Kristin thanked him and told him we have a cooler with plenty of juice and water. He walked away and the chatter behind us started, anyone within 25 feet heard everything.
Mind you, the entire few hours we stayed, he had a beer in one hand and cigarette in the other, which neither is allowed on the beach. They were saying to others on the beach that we are not being fair eating and drinking in front of our kids. One woman even approached us later telling us that the man and his wife were taking videos of us as well.
Angry and frustrated, we played with our kids as normal and noticed us being watched the entire time. What we are taking from this is if you do not see our kids physically eating then we are not feeding them. We said nothing, well, until we found that same guy taking pictures of our vehicle. He saw me take Karson earlier and change the baby’s diaper in the back of our SUV. So, as we were packing up to leave, he made his way to take these pictures.
Now we were worried: what was he planning to do with the video and pictures?
Naturally, I asked him to please stop taking pictures of our kids. He told me he wasn’t, but I just dismissed it and said, “Okay, thank you, because a woman told us about the video also.” He said that wasn’t the case and only pedophiles take pictures of kids. I agreed with him and said that was exactly my concern.
Then his wife came up and made sure she got a good picture of our license plate. While walking toward us, she was saying, “You got my back, right?” to her husband. I asked her also to stop taking pictures of us and said they are scaring our kids. When she heard one of our kids say, “Mom,” she walked away yelling, “The f’ing lesbians are fostering, go cash that check.”
At that point we were forced to call 911. If we didn’t file a report, then we were expecting CPS to come to our home later. Maybe it was just us overreacting with a previous experience that gave us this fear. They assumed we did not feed or give fluids to our children for almost an hour is what they said. They never thought the kids could have eaten or drank just before arriving. They also thought it was an outing and we were just babysitting other people’s kids.
My point here is, this is even happening to biological parents that their kids do not resemble them. I feel bad for all interracial or blended families that happen to like to do fun things with their kids.
I feel saddened that society is already judging you any time you are in a public setting, you probably don’t even realize it.
I will never understand why people must have knowledge of who a child’s parents are or not; why adults must walk on eggshells in front of other adults and cannot just enjoy the children in their presence.
What is not being realized is how unnecessary judgement is negatively affecting the children in ears’ reach. All because ignorance of judging on other’s appearance. I asked why this happens, Kristin’s reply was “because we stand out.”
So much for not following the norm, I guess.