Last night my girls stayed the night with their Papa and Nonnie and ran a few errands. While they were at a store a kid was saying HI, HI, HI to everyone around them. And the child said it to my daughters and my girls (ages 1 & 3) did not respond. The mother then says to her child, Don't talk to them; they won't respond. They think they are better then us. She kept at it telling the child what she thought my kids were thinking and then when my in-laws were checking out in line, the mother comes up to them again and starts griping about how rude and stuck up my children are. My FIL says, maybe they're just shy. The lady responds saying they are not shy, they think they are better then us. My in-laws told the lady to quit talking to them and leave them alone.
Hear Momma Bear ROAR!!! Oh my! Nonnie was mad. And so was Papa. Today when they told me the story, so was MOMMA. I hate that I wasn't there, but it might have been a good thing that I wasn't. But I haven't been able to get the situation out of my head so I thought what better way then to blog about it! Get my thoughts written out and make sense of them.
First of all, my daughters are (almost) 2 and 4. Please stranger do not come up to them griping at them!! That is not safe or respectful. Secondly, my little children were not thinking anything about your child. At 2 and 4 they do not know how to judge someone else for what they are wearing or look like - LOVE THAT INNOCENCE! - We lose it all too quickly.
Next, my children are shy. Besides my house and their grandparents' house, our church would be the next place they are most comfortable and anyone there can tell you that they are quiet and don't speak to a lot of people, even when spoken to. I'm sorry if that comes off as rude, but I am not going to force my children to speak to strangers! (Stranger danger anyone?!) I am not comfortable talking to a lot of strangers, why should I force my children to? Especially if I am not with them. My 4 year old will tell you she is shy. Many times she will come up to me and say with a big smile on her face, "I wasn't shy to so&so today!" And she will be very proud of herself. She has learned that it is good to talk to the teacher's in class. Even yesterday at her gymnastic's class I was so proud of her for telling one of the teenage teachers that she was going to stay the night at her Nonnie's house. I put Kai in soccer in hopes of helping with her timidness. But I will not force my child to talk to the strangers that talk to her in the grocery store. I do teach them to be respectful and polite. They know their manners and often get told how polite they are. But at the age of 4, a stranger can be a very intimidating thing.
Then my next thought the whole thing is about that lady telling her young child that my kids think they are rich and too good for them. Why are you teaching your child that? That is setting your kid up to be a bully, to think less of themselves, and to judge others by what they look like. Which so happens to be why you are angry at my kids. Yes, my children dress cute and are clean, but that does not mean that they are rude. I know I am a little biased, but I think my children are nothing but sweet (usually). They are still shy around some of their closest friends. And my almost 2 year old is just now learning to really communicate! -- As mothers we teach our children how to view the world and the people in this world - what are we teaching our children?! What are YOU teaching your child?
So I'm not writing this blog to say oh my children are so sweet and perfect, but to encourage others to not judge people that you don't even know. It's so easy to do. I know I have done it many times. We can judge them for having it all together, when they're life is actually falling apart. We can think they are dirty and homeless, but really they were just working hard that day helping those in need. We can think, oh they are selfish and rich, when they are actually the most generous people. I can be jealous of someone and put them down because of it. We don't know how deep our judgements and words can hurt those around us!
Why don't we stop and encourage one another? As mothers, we think we know best. And we do. For our own children. But just because what I think is best for my children does not mean that's what is best for your children. It takes all kinds of people to fill this world, and that is a good thing. But let us love our God, and love our neighbor.
It gave me a glimpse of some of the things the girls will experience in their life, especially when they start school. I was there and have been on the receiving end and the giving end. One of my biggest regrets of high school is how rude I was by thinking I was too good for other people - how dare I?! But I did. But people also judged me because of where I lived, what I wore, and because I was one of the "rich" kids. Neither one of us was right. But I do not remember it starting at such a young age. My children aren't even 2 and 4 yet. And here is the world trying to teach them lessons! I can not shield and protect my children from everything, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to, but I know at some point they will start school and things like this will happen.
But I plan to be there for them in all situations: to guide them and teach them to do what is right. To use their faith in God in all situations! I hope and pray they keep their childlike innocence of loving everyone. But I also fear them being hurt by other people being mean to them.
Oh this world can be so cruel. No one warned me that being a mom was going to be so tough. We hurt when they hurt; we cheer when they cheer!