Here we are, gathered together…moms, waiting on our kids and doing what we do when we gather together for the sake of our children and all the things they make us juggle. We are talking.
We talk about those cute boots you just picked up…or that recipe I just saw on Pinterest and served for dinner to an epic fail…or Christmas shopping and how you are all done…or anything else that comes to mind.
You come in and sit down across from me and say hello to me and my child, who barely looks up because he is so focused on his Nintendo 3DS. Then you begin to share your latest adventure and frustration with one of your in-laws and…OMG…he is so RETARDED. I get your frustration with the situation that you had to deal with and can imagine how crazy he drove you that afternoon but just because he is so dang old and set in his ways it does not sound to me like he is intellectually disabled. Actually having met your in-law one time and sharing a conversation with him, I could say that I doubt that he is actually “mentally retarded”. But you go on with your epic story, occasionally looking me in the eye and even meeting my child’s gaze as you continue to describe your family member as a stupid, dumb retard because he is so retarded sometimes and how it drives you crazy when he acts so much like a retard.
My kid turns off his Nintendo, hands it to me and quietly asks if he can leave the room where we all are sitting together. I hug him and encourage him to go ahead and join his sister outside.hanging out with her friends.
And you, my friend, the person who knows me, knows my children seem to have no clue whatsoever that you have hurt him…which of course hurts me.
Honestly, if you are my friend you would have the sensitivity and empathy to know that at least in my presence or in the presence of my family that word is so hurtful, so offensive; and, if you truly are my friend, you would have the intelligence, the creativity, the sensitivity to consider using so many other much more descriptive adjectives. Wouldn’t you? Of course you would. That is why we are friends.
Perhaps I will get you a dictionary for Christmas…you know, because we are friends.