We knew, as we boarded the plane to Japan, that our kids, with their blonde hair and blue eyes, would stick out in Asia. And having lived in Hawaii when Sophie was a baby, we had experienced people asking to take her picture, and we expected the same thing to happen during our current travels.
What we didn’t expect were lines of people who didn’t seem to care that we were trying to get somewhere, or mobs of women who didn’t notice that the kids had gone from smiling to completely freaked out.
I didn’t expect people to actually pick up Connor or start patting Sophie’s hair without asking. And I certainly didn’t expect that when the kids said “No” and ran behind me to hide, that people would continue to follow them and try to hug them.
While the majority of people asked before approaching our kids and were respectful of the boundaries we set, in a world where we teach children about stranger danger from an early age and constantly remind kids that no one should ever touch them without their permission, to have even one person cross that line just isn’t okay.
So if you see our kids, feel free to wave and take a picture, but please, don’t touch.