We were at the dollar tree again. In the toy aisle of course. The kids were examining every piece of cheap plastic in hopes of finding the one that might not break within the first 12 seconds and still be fun.
Guns always seemed to rise to the top of the boys’ list.
I don’t mind a good water pistol, but some toys today seem a bit too violent for my taste. Naturally, those were the ones requested.
As I attempted to redirect them to the balls and silly string, Victor objected loudly, “Our dad let’s us shoot guns.”
And there it was.
Another woman in the aisle glanced my way. I could only imagine what she was thinking as the three foster kids who looked strikingly like me waited for my response.
The new mom in me suddenly felt what every other mom talks about. Judgement.
My head spinning, I knew I had two options. Me or them.
I could choose to make reality clear. Explain that Victor was talking about his biological dad and that I was only their foster mom. That I’m not associated with that man or his choices.
Or I could leave it be. Let this stranger think what she would and move on.
Simply put, I could deny these kids or I could deny myself. Show them I’m with them through thick and thin.
Would I stand in front of them to protect them or jump behind them to shield myself?
I realized this was the first of many times I’d have to answer that question.