Have you ever been involved in a verbal confrontation and, after it was settled, thought about the perfect comeback? Of course, we don’t ever do that because that would be stupid. If we counter with the best comeback one day or even one hour after said confrontation, that person would now think you were even more inept than before. Not to mention, “crazy.” I’m the worst at comebacks. But afterwards, I. AM. AWESOME. I keep these little snappy retorts on file just in case the need to use them in the future ever arises.
Let me get to the point. My 10 year old has a gift. His gift is a quick mind and the ability to put anyone in their place during an argument; even adults. Now some readers may not know the story with my youngest so I’ll give you the cliff notes. He was born with a condition that didn’t allow his right eye to grow inside the womb leaving him blind in that eye. To make his appearance aesthetically correct, he’s been wearing a prosthetic eye since he was eight weeks old. Because we have a brilliant Occularist (Prosthetic eye maker) most can’t even tell his right eye is in fact, prosthetic.
We have endured curious inquiries from the young and old. This does not bother anyone in my family. Sometimes when he’s fitted with a new eye it can at first appear larger than his left eye. While my husband and I were the ones to field inquiries about his eye in the beginning, Jackson now insists he be the one to answer any questions.
My mother-in-law however has worried that one day he might get made fun of. I usually brush this off and simply say, “Every kid gets made fun of at one time or another. It’s part of life.” I took this position mainly because the thought of anyone teasing either of my children made me want to keep them at home, in a bubble. And perhaps put the parents of bullies in prison. But that wouldn’t be good for any of us.
So last week Jackson had to go to school without his prosthesis. Because of this he had to wear a patch. At one point during the day he had to take the patch off. When I picked him up from school, he jumped in the car, slammed the door and said, “Some kid on the playground saw me without my patch and shouted, ‘ewe, what’s wrong with your eye. It looks weird.’ I want to go home.” He didn’t want to cry but I could tell he was upset. For the most part I’m a calm, “go with the flow” type gal but when someone (even a child) makes one of my children cry, and I become a bit irrational. Before I could call the school and demand to know the name of the little juvenile delinquent who made fun of my kid, I calmed down and instead offered solid words of wisdom. “You know what? He probably didn’t know what he was saying. If he does it again, I’ll call the school tomorrow.”
As we were driving home Jackson started getting more frustrated. He said, “I don’t want to wait until tomorrow for you to call.” Instead of telling him the names I’d like to call that kid, I simply replied, “No we’re going to wait. I’m sure he didn’t know what he was saying and if he did, he probably won’t make anything out of his life.”
Upon hearing this Jackson looked up and responded, “That’s right! When he gets married his wife is gonna say, ‘Hey, why don’t you get a job?’ Then he’s gonna say, ‘Well I would but I made fun a kid with a little eye and nobody will give me a job.’”
So what if it was a rhetorical comeback? It was pretty good and now I know my little boy, his prosthesis and eye patch will be just fine.
To reach Becky, email email@example.com