theorangeinkblot

Looking at life through orange colored glasses…

Archive for the tag “kids”

The Best Day Ever…

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by us standing in our own sunshine.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Back in March of this year, I wrote a post called ‘The Year of Meryl” (see full post here http://wp.me/p1ZHOE-7B) in which I proclaimed that starting in September of 2012, with both children on the same school schedule for the first time ever, I was reclaiming my life, my time, my purpose.   I was going to strive for balance between the things I have to do (i.e. chores and errands) and the things I want to do (such as write, exercise, and think deeply about important issues).  More importantly, my plan included doing the things I want to do without feeling like a “time thief”- stealing five minutes here, and five minutes there in order to fit in those meaningful activities.  I envisioned myself saying goodbye to chaos and ushering in a new era in which I had time to do housework, get fit, be social, and think intellectually.  ‘The Year of Meryl’ was meant to be a time to rediscover what is meaningful to me- not me the mother or me the wife, but the me who was once a musician, a political advocate, a traveler, an educator. And I thought the universe was just going to hand it to me on a silver platter.

Not so much.

On the first day of school, I loaded my kids onto the school bus, watched the bus drive away, and did a little happy dance, even while other moms dabbed melancholy tears from their eyes.  I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary that day, but the feeling of freedom I had for the rest of that day made me positively giddy.  The giddy feeling lasted until that afternoon when my 4th grader got off the bus, walked into the house, and burst into hysterical tears.  My nine year old has been dealing with an anxiety disorder on and off for the last few years and had been pretty well managing it for the prior 9 months.  But something about the first day of school this year, brought her anxiety back full throttle and it threw the household into something of a crisis mode.  My primary job the past few months has been to reconnect my older daughter with the resources that were helpful and necessary in managing her anxiety the last time it tried to take over her head and her life.

September and October were jam packed with meetings with teachers, school administrators, private psychologists and a psychiatrist (during those same hours that I was going to be writing, exercising, and thinking deeply).  For two months it meant using all of my super mom (and my husband’s super dad) powers to even get my daughter out of bed and to school in the morning, and then wondering all day if I was going to get a call from the school that she had experienced another anxiety attack.  It meant helping her to battle the worry monsters at night until she finally (far beyond bedtime) fell asleep.  It meant trying to not take it personally as my scared, angry, and frustrated child took most of her emotional turmoil out on me because on some level (I hope) she knew that my love is unconditional.  It meant extra hugs and snuggles for my younger daughter who felt a little neglected by all the attention that big sister was getting.

Where did this leave me?  Too tired to think deeply.  Stealing time to fit in exercise and writing.

I could say ‘The Year of Meryl’ got off to a rocky start, but if I am being really honest with myself that’s not really true.  It’s just that it was naive to think that just because my kids are both away from the house at the same time, that the time without them is any more mine as it was last year or the year before that.

Or maybe the better way to think of it is that the time without them is JUST as much mine as it’s always been.  I’ve just never thought to fight for it before.

Whether or not you have children, life is busy and something is always there to pull you away from the things you love.  In the past, I have just resigned myself to the idea that my life is no longer my own and figured  I had no control over it.  I let what was happening with my daughter completely take over my own life which I have now learned is not necessary.  Just because my nine year old may feel anxious and sad and angry does not mean that I also have to be feeling anxious and sad and angry.  My first success in ‘The Year of Meryl’ has been learning the lesson that it is okay to decide to be happy even if people around me are not.  I can take care of my sad, anxious, and angry child without being sad, anxious, and angry myself.  

It took me a couple of months to figure this out and in part I have learned how from my 5 year old.  My 5 year old wakes up every morning and says, “Today is going to be the best day ever.”  It doesn’t really matter what is scheduled for the day.  There is no reason for her to believe she is going to have a bad day, so she assumes she is going to have a great one.  And she does- pretty much every day.  Her kindergarten teacher called me one day in late October to share that my little girl had fallen on the playground, landed on her face, and her lip had started bleeding.  He went over to make sure she was okay but she just stood up, brushed herself off and said, “these things happen sometimes.”  He told me that in that moment he thought yes, that’s true but for a five year old to think that way is pretty impressive.

Her days are not perfect.  Like everyone, my five year old faces her own version of adversity throughout the day.  She just doesn’t let it bother her or keep her from having the best day ever.  I decided to try to be more like my five year old.  On October 31st I made the last minute decision to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the month of November.  Participants are tasked to write 50,000 words in 30 days giving them a jump start on that novel they have always wanted to write.  I wasn’t sure I could do it- in fact before I even started I was rationalizing to my husband why I wouldn’t be able to complete it, but at least I could try.  I woke up on November 1st and decided I was going to write 1667 words that day.  Somehow, I found time for it that day, and every day in November.  Nothing else in my life had changed except my attitude.  Proving to myself that I could accomplish a goal I had set for myself despite the other things in my life that I was dealing with was huge.  The writing I was doing (while mediocre at best-it’s hard to write for quality when you are writing primarily for quantity) completely energized me.   I started waking up happier.  When waking up my older daughter for school (a task which was arduous at best) instead of pleading, threatening, and physically dragging her I simply turned on some upbeat music and danced around her room.  Her little sister would join me and eventually big sister couldn’t resist joining us for our early morning dance parties.  Are there still some rough mornings? Of course.  I just don’t let them dictate the rest of my day anymore.

Learning this lesson was not part of my original plan for ‘The Year of Meryl’ but sometimes the Universe knows what we need better than we do.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go have the best day ever.

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The World According to Rachel, Part 3: Wide Awake

The following is a reprint from a short-lived blog I started when my youngest daughter was about 18 months old.  It is written from what I imagined her point of view would be.  If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you can check it out at: http://wp.me/p1ZHOE-8W or check my recent posts…

Usually, I am a pretty good sleeper. But one night last week I woke up while it was still dark out and I wasn’t even tired. I was feeling a little lonely, so I decided to call for mommy, because she is my favorite one to play with. I called, “mommy” really loud and drawn out and then I waited. I didn’t hear any footsteps, so I called again, “mommy” as loud as I could. Still nothing. Since I am a stubborn little bugger (this is what mommy calls me sometimes) I decided to keep trying. I stood up in my crib and started shaking the side as hard as I could- RATTLE, RATTLE, RATTLE. I thought this would work for sure because mommy had just read an article about a crib recall where the sliding crib wall could separate from the crib and smush the innocent little baby, but mommy STILL didn’t come. Talk about stubborn. Then I had a great idea, so I started yelling, “I’m stuck, I’m stuck!!” I don’t know if mommy believed me, but right after that I heard footsteps and I knew that she was on her way.

Unfortunately, when mommy came into the room, she did not look happy to see me. She said in a very soft but serious voice- “Rachel, it is 3:30 in the morning.”

Oh good, I thought. It is morning!!

Mommy kept talking, “It is not play time, it is sleep time. I will sit with you in your chair and help you fall back to sleep, but we are NOT going into the living room and we are NOT playing. Got it?”

Mommy sounded sort of grouchy, so I just said, “got it, mommy.” Then she picked me up out of my crib and put me on her lap in the rocking chair. She still looked grouchy and I wanted her to smile, so after we had rocked for a minute or two I looked up at mommy and said, “nice to meet you, mommy!” And it worked! Mommy smiled and said, “nice to meet you too Rachel, now go to sleep.”

Mommy started singing to me all my bed time songs, such as: Never Surrender, Faithfully, and Wind Beneath My Wings. Just as I started to doze off, that dumb dog who lives next door started barking. At least, I think his name is “that dumb dog.” That’s what my daddy usually calls him. But I think he must have a few different names because daddy also calls him “that little yappy dog,” “the furry rat,” and some other names that a two year old is not supposed to repeat. So, I opened my eyes and said, “woof-woof” and started to laugh.

This time, mommy didn’t laugh. Instead, she started saying something I didn’t understand about “God granting her the serenity to accept the things she cannot change”… so I just closed my eyes and tried to fall back to sleep. I guess I did because when I woke up, I was back in my crib and it was light out and when I called for mommy she came right away. It’s nice when mommy keeps me company at night, but she is much more smiley during the day. Maybe next time, I’ll call for daddy and see how that goes.Image

The World According to Rachel, Part 2: Hide and Seek

The following is a reprint from a short-lived blog I started when my youngest daughter was about 18 months old.  It is written from what I imagined her point of view would be.  If you missed Part 1, you can check it out at: http://wp.me/p1ZHOE-8W

Hide and Seek is a very fun game. The best part is you can hide anything! Last week, I decided to play Hide and Seek with my shoes. My timing was perfect! Right after I hid them, mommy came into the living room and said, “Rachel, let’s find your shoes- it is time to go in the car to get your sister from after school art class.” I thought, “yay, mommy is IT- she has to find my shoes all by herself.”

Mommy said, “Where are your shoes, they were just here ten minutes ago?”

I said, “I don’t know.” (When you are playing hide and seek you are not supposed to tell the seeker where the hider is.)

First mommy looked under the couch (lots of stuff likes to hide under the couch). Then, mommy looked under the TV cabinet. Then she started walking around the house very fast looking everywhere for my shoes. I am SO good at Hide and Seek. Then mommy said that we were going to be late so I would have to wear different shoes and she brought over some strappy sandals that give my feet ouchies. I was very mad because I wanted to keep playing Hide and Seek so I laid down on the floor and started screaming. Then, while I was laying there, my sneaky mommy stuck those ouchy sandals on my feet and picked me up right off the floor. Next time, I have to remember to hide those ouchy sandals.

When we got to the school we had to sit in the car for a little while because there were no more parking spaces. I thought mommy might want to talk to pass the time so I kept shouting things like- “NO CAR,” “OUT, OUT, OUT,” and “ALL DONE..” Mommy didn’t listen. She just said something I didn’t understand about how I should quiet down because there were faraway kids in refugee camps that would trade places with me in a second. Finally, we picked up my sister and went back home but mommy did not want to play hide and seek anymore.

You will be happy to know that mommy did find my shoes two days later by accident when she opened up a cabinet while looking for her keys (please don’t tell mommy that it was me playing hide and seek with her keys). And now, I think my toys are playing Hide and Seek with me. I can’t find that Play Doh anywhere!!! I’ll have to remember to ask mommy about that tonight in the middle of the night when I wake her up. Then, I’ll write again and tell you all about it.

The World According to Rachel: Play Doh (reprint)

My summer schedule is kicking my butt and writing has taken a back seat to other things.  So, I’m cheating this time and reprinting something I wrote about 3 years ago when my youngest daughter was about to turn 2.  Anyone with a 2 year old knows what a challenging time it can be.  As I rode the terrible 2 roller coaster, I tried to imagine what my daughter might write if she could keep a diary/blog.  This is what I came up with… If you like it, then maybe I’ll cheat again next week ;).

The World According To Rachel
(also called: Why mommy will at some point go back to working outside the home.)

Play Doh

Today, mommy showed me a new toy called Play Doh. I loved it. Play Doh is squishy and can be shaped into anything. I asked mommy to make me Ming-Ming, Tuck, and Linny from my favorite TV show, ‘The Wonder Pets.’ Mommy made Ming-Ming look just like a duck, and Tuck looked pretty much like a turtle, but Linny did not look like a guinea pig at all so I asked her to do it again. Linny still did not look like a guinea pig but I didn’t want to hurt mommy’s feelings so I just pretended that it looked good. Mommy showed me how to make a snake, and also a pancake. We were having so much fun and laughing a lot. She didn’t even freak out when I tasted it (play doh does not taste very good in case you were wondering).

Then, I discovered that you can take two lumps of play doh and squish them together. To make it more fun, I said “squish, squish, squish” while I pushed the blue play doh into the pink play doh. Mommy said, “lets not mix all the colors” ( sometimes mommy can be really anal about that stuff- I think I heard her say it’s because she’s a Myers-Brigg  ‘J’). I mixed the colors anyway because it was so much fun. Then, mommy walked away from the table for a minute (she should really know better). When she came back, I had ripped up all the play doh into little pieces and thrown them on the floor- and then, because it made such a good noise, I threw all the play doh toys on the floor too. CRASH!!

Mommy gave a big sigh and got down on the floor. She was muttering something real low, but I couldn’t quite hear what it was. It had something to do with not giving up her career so she could stay home and pick cat hair and cheerio crumbs out of little lumps of play doh. I wish she had told me we could add things to the play doh!! Then mommy said it was time to clean up and she started putting the play doh away. That made me very sad and I started to cry. Mommy said “sorry kiddo, but you made a huge mess and it’s time to clean up.” That made me angry so I threw myself down on the floor and screamed a little. When I looked up, mommy wasn’t even in the room anymore.

I found her in my room getting things ready for my nap. You know what? I was a little tired. How does she know these things? Mommy and I have so much fun together. Next time, I will tell you about how I played hide and seek with my shoes and we were almost late to pick Sarah up from art class.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but my kids appear to be immune…

Why is it when I make suggestions,

My kids always respond with questions.

When I say, “Come stand by me.” They respond with “Why?”

When I suggest a piece of fruit, They ask, “can I have pie?”

The questions keep on coming

Every hour of every day.

Sometimes it feels like questions,

Is all they have to say, like…

 

Are we there yet?

Why’s my tongue wet?

Do you want to make a bet?

Can you explain the national debt?

 

Why do you say I’ve had enough?

Why is elbow skin so rough?

Why is 3rd grade math so tough?

Why can’t I run ‘round in the buff?

 

Will we ever own a yacht?

Do I have to get a shot?

Could you wipe away my snot?

Do you think my forehead’s hot?

 

Do you wish you were a kid?

Did you see what my sister did?

Why does the toilet have a lid?

Can I go on e-Bay and bid?

 

Can you buy me, give me, take me?

Will you give me my own house key?

Why did daddy grow a goatee?

Do you think that I’m a cutie?

 

See how my nice my skin is glistening?

Does my hair need more conditioning?

Can I start theatre auditioning?

Mommy, are you even listening?

 

Sometimes the answer’s plainly yes,

Other times I just don’t know.

If I’m stuck, I have the choice of:

‘just because’ or ‘no.’

 

Some of their questions make me laugh

Some of them make me sigh,

Some of their inquiries make me shake my head

and wonder why?

 

It seems to me that parents should get an answer key,

cliff notes, or a cheat sheet, to unlock these mysteries.

But alas, having children does not come with a plan,

so I’ll keep fielding questions like only mommy can.

I’m Mommy and I Know It… (Everyone else has done a take off of the LMFAO song, I figured I’d might as well too)

Image

When I walk on by, you’ll probably hear me humming a lullaby
I rock to the beat
of itsy bitsy spider when my playgroup meets.
Yeah
This is how I jam
ABC’s and Mary had a Little Lamb
Goodnight Moon and Sam I Am, Catching funny moments on the video cam.

I’m clapping my hands now

I’m stomping my feet now

I’m shouting hooray now

I got kids!

I’m clapping my hands now

I’m stomping my feet now

I’m shouting hooray now

I got kids!

I put my right foot in.  I take my right foot out.
I do the hokey pokey and I turn myself about.

I got spit up on my shirt and I ain’t afraid to show it (show it, show it, show it, show it)

I’m mommy and I know it.

I’m mommy and I know it.

Yeah
When we’re at the mall, kid’s throwing tantrums- it’s a sprawl and bawl
When we’re at the beach, kid strips down and starts to streak (what?)

This is how I roll, Taking deep breaths so I’m in control.

I need more grown-ups but I’m not nervous. I can stay connected if I have cell

service (what).

I’m clapping my hands now

I’m stomping my feet now

I’m shouting hooray now

I got kids!

I’m clapping my hands now

I’m stomping my feet now

I’m shouting hooray now

I got kids!

I put my right foot in.  I take my right foot out.

I do the hokey pokey and I turn myself about.

I got spit up on my shirt and I ain’t afraid to show it (show it, show it, show it)

I’m mommy and I know it.

I’m mommy and I know it.

Check it out,

Check it out

Wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, yeah!
Wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, yeah!
Wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, yeah!
Wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, wiggles, yeah, yeah!

I watch the Wiggles, man,
I watch the Wiggles, man,
Yeah
I’m mommy and I know it

I’m clapping my hands now

I’m stomping my feet now

I’m shouting hooray now

I got kids!

I’m clapping my hands now

I’m stomping my feet now

I’m shouting hooray now

I got kids!

I’m mommy and I know it.

I Licked A Wall (sing to the tune of Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed A Girl.’

Yum, paneling.

Note: Due to some sensory issues, my four-year old has a list of about ten foods that she will eat.  The only “fruit” on the list is freeze-dried apples.  The only “vegetable” on the list is corn.  She will however eat just about any non-food item she can find.  We are currently working with a specialist to help her overcome her Resistant Eater issues.  But in the meantime, I am trying hard to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing.

I Licked A Wall

(sing to the tune of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl.”)

I do not like to eat real food, I find it icky.

Mom says I’m food resistant, means more than picky.

I won’t eat those fruit snacks, but I’ll feed them to my toys.

I’ll stick them to the wall when they’re wet and sticky.

Puppy will eat my fruit rope.

Fruit snacks. So versatile.

I ate paper and I liked it.

But I won’t eat a carrot.

I ate paper and I liked it.

I think my friends should try it.

Mommy says it’s wrong, but I think it’s right.

Maybe I’ll try cardboard tonight.

I ate paper and I liked it.

Dad took me too a petting zoo, I saw a donkey.

We saw some goats and camels too, but not a monkey.

Maybe you’ll think it’s gross, but I had to lick the fence.

Daddy, was so upset, he wonders if I‘m dense.

I licked a wall and I liked it.

But I won’t eat a triscuit.

I licked a wall and I liked it.

And I might eat a dog biscuit.

Mommy says it’s wrong, but I think it’s right.

Maybe I’ll lick the floor tonight.

I licked a wall and I liked it.

Pokemon cards they are delish.  Wrapping paper’s my favorite dish. I will not eat a Swedish fish, but I’ll eat the package. It’s  no big deal, it’s just a snack.
I ate paper and I liked it.

But I won’t eat a carrot.

I ate paper and I liked it.

I think my friends should try it.

Mommy says it’s wrong, but I think it’s right.

Maybe I’ll try cardboard tonight.

I ate paper and I liked it.

I liked it.

It’s the end of the world as we know it….

Based on the movie previews I have seen recently, Hollywood would have us believe that we should be preparing for an apocalypse of robots and aliens. Personally, I am worried about a threat that is much more real. My house is being invaded by Littlest Pet Shops.

They are arriving in droves, by luxury airliner, car, motorcycle, and pawpaw cruiser.

It started out as a small group, but they are multiplying like, well, rabbits.

They claim to come in peace, but I got this aerial shot of them training what appears to be an army.

They are building settlements,

and spend their leisure time watching TV (they appear to be Rutgers fans),

and swimming. I think they have recruited my cat.

Maybe there is something in the water.

Don’t be fooled by their cuteness- I think they are watching us sleep.

Or maybe I’m letting my imagination run away with me…

My life in verse…

I know I owe you part 2 to my last blog entry. Consider this an intermission.

My brother is the poet in my family, but I was feeling creative this morning and thought I’d give it a shot. Here’s what I came up with (mostly) while I was driving my daughter to preschool this morning They are all a work in progress:

Wake Up Call

I am privy

To a very exclusive

Concierge alarm clock service.

Extremely personalized

And very reliable,

Every morning

At crack of dawn o’clock

I am roused from slumber

By the intermittent,

And increasingly loud

Shouts of

“MOMMY”

Floating across my house-

And there is no snooze button.

A Girl Named Sarah

I know a girl named Sarah who likes to stay in bed;

Morning, noon, and night, with the covers on her head.

“Wake up” says her daddy.

“Wake up” says her mommy.

“Wake up” says her little sister too.

But Sarah says, “that didn’t work, so you’ll have to try something new.”

I know a girl named Sarah, who likes to stay in bed;

Morning, noon, and night, with the covers on her head.

“Tickle Tickle” says her daddy.

“Tickle Tickle” says her mommy.

“Tickle Tickle” says her little sister too.

But Sarah says, “That didn’t work, so you’ll have to try something new.”

I know a girl named Sarah, who likes to stay in bed;

Morning, noon, and night, with the covers on her head.

Daddy takes the legs,

Mommy takes the arms,

Sister smiles sweetly, turning up the charm.

“I guess we’ll have to throw her” little sister starts to say.

“I’m up, I’m up” yells Sarah. “I guess I’ll start my day.”

Crayons

Crayon scribbles in the hall,

On the floor and on the wall,

They’d mark the ceiling I suppose

If she could reach on tippy toes.

I guess it’s better than last year,

When she stuck one in her ear.

And according to her tummy,

Periwinkle is quite yummy.

Cereal, It’s What’s for Dinner

Perhaps, instead of ‘mommy,’ they should call me “Cap’n Crunch.”

I eat cereal for breakfast.

I eat cereal for lunch.

At dinner time, cereal appears on the menu too.

There’s just not time to cook with all the running ’round I do.

My Town – A Haiku

(I wrote this yesterday in response to a Haiku challenge issued by my brother. The challenge was to describe an unusual addiction or obsession using Haiku or rhyming verse.)

My digital town

Has turkeys that roam the street.

No one seems to care.

Photo credit: Original filename: alarm_clock.jpg, added February 12, 2009 by Credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit link: http://photo-dictionary.com/phrase/409/alarm-clock.html#ixzz1hDFoB3wZ

I am already an embarrassment to my 8 year old daughter. Do I get extra points for that?

My 8 year old came home from school recently complaining that I had embarrassed her by putting a box of raisins in her lunch box. “Now” she fretted, “everyone will know that I like raisins.” Apparently, this was top secret information and unbeknownst to me (among 3rd graders) liking raisins ranks pretty low on the cool scale.

The raisin incident is already old news, but my daughter is going to need to toughen up some if she expects to survive parental embarrassment into her teenage years. As you may recall (see the Plant Parenthood blog entry), I was trained by the master. What my daughter really needs is a little perspective, so the next time I embarrass her by putting her sandwich on whole wheat bread, or some other disaster, I will tell her this story:

When I was in high school, there was a local discount store called ‘Cheap Johns’. With it’s garage sale pricing and the ambiance of a warehouse store, Cheap Johns could have been the love child between The Dollar Store and Costco. The merchandise (if you could call it that) was piled in giant bins and lacked any kind of presentation.

As my parents liked to remind me, that while we were rich with love, we were not rich with anything you could actually spend at a store. When it came time to shop for school supplies, they were not going to cough up the five dollars it cost to buy a highly coveted Trapper Keeper (plus more for matching folders and notebooks) when they could buy a 3-ring binder, plus a notebook, and a folder, some pens, pencils, and a pencil case for that cost at Cheap Johns. The cheap version may have served the same purpose as the stylish looking Trapper Keeper, but it did not have the same visual appeal.

Each Cheap John’s binder, notebook, and folder was proudly embossed with a picture of the illustrious Cheap John mascot, Mr. Cheap John, himself. With his bulbous nose, and his bushy mustache, I always thought the Cheap John logo bore an insulting resemblance to Albert Einstein (See comparison photos below).

:

I felt especially bad for the Cheap John logo (as if he had feelings) that those of us with cheap budget minded parents started off each year by filling in the logo of each notebook and folder with black sharpie marker. Having school supplies from Cheap Johns, was definitely not cool (way less cool than bringing raisins for lunch). Worse than being seen using Cheap Johns school supplies, though, was being seen shopping at Cheap Johns.

One September evening, I begrudgingly accompanied my mother to Cheap Johns with my list of required school supplies. I immediately recognized that the only cashier was a student in my graduating class. (Working at Cheap John’s was acceptable as jobs for teenagers in our small town were hard to come by.) I made a mental note to be as invisible as possible, to minimize any damage to my already fragile reputation (what comes beneath nerd in the high school social order?). I should have known better than to have asked my mom to be invisible too.

As we shopped, my mom sang (in her loud off-key voice) and danced (shimmying and all) up and down each aisle. Mortified, and convinced that everyone (all five shoppers) in the store was staring at us I (quite stupidly) asked my mother to stop singing, dancing, and, well, embarrassing me. My mother was taken aback- “I’m embarrassing you?” she asked. I insisted again that she please stop drawing attention herself (and, by association, me).

My mom didn’t even miss a beat. She simply told me, “I’ll show you embarrassing” and then marched to the middle of the store. She then proceeded to shout, “I am Meryl Orange’s mother, she is a student at SWR High School, and she is right over there!!” I immediately dropped to the floor and crawled (because that’s not embarrassing) under one of the giant bins where I fervently wished I could disappear. Eventually, I got up and followed my gloating mother through the check out line (complete with my classmate cashier who now had real story to tell at school).

My mom gave me a great gift that day- perspective. Having learned what it really felt like to be embarrassed, I have rarely felt that way again. I also learned that in most situations, my peers really weren’t paying all that close attention to what I was doing- it was just my own insecurity that was rearing it’s ugly head.

I will tell my daughter this story for two reasons. First, I think my little drama queen could benefit from a healthy dose of perspective. In the grand scheme of things, is it such a big deal if people know she likes raisins? (As an aside, she is obsessed with beef jerky which makes frequent appearances in her lunch box and she is not embarrassed about that.)

Second, I think it’s important that my daughter understand early that I have tools at my disposal and I will not hesitate to use them if necessary.

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