My mind is jumping all over the place this morning. It's a little thing I like to call "monkey mind". (borrowed from "the Accidental Buddhist"). Here are a few of the things racing about in the noggin flinging excrement today (come on, that's a funny monkey reference):
- I just wrapped up one committee commitment, I'm ramping up another, one more week of one, starting a new one today and in the middle of another that has a 9-12 month commitment.
-My kids are in wacky land right now. I blame the change in the weather, it seems the most victimless thing to blame.
-I have friends and family that I need to catch up with as I feel like I've been out of the loop for a couple of weeks for some reason.
-This couple day a week gymnastics teaching just seems to get in the way as it hits on random times and is so infrequent it doesn't seem like a real part of my schedule.
- My whole house is in messy chaos right now as I am coming off a week of uber PMS and 4 days of brother/sister-in-law and nephews being in town.
In other words, I am a mom. You could insert many monikers into this last sentence and I am sure it would work just fine, i.e. dad. I don't want anyone to think I feel moms have the corner on monkey mind, or monkey business for that matter.
With all of this swinging from vines in my head, there is one incident my mind keeps going back to. I think this incident shows my masterful self control as a parent, no kids were smacked, my keen timing, I let things unfold as they did, and the awesomeness of my daughter, which I will take credit for at this time.
The kids were eating dinner at church youth group last night. They have music, craft and then dinner before the lesson time. It's awesome. I run the craft and so I am always late to dinner having to clean up before I join the kids. I usually sit with my little one and so my big girl asked me to sit with her and told me she would save me a seat. She did and I sat at her table once I joined the dinner festivities.
I knew all the kids at the table, a lovely group, except for the one boy at the table who was introduced as the cousin of one of the girls dining with us. Awesome. It's brave for a middle school boy to join a table full of girls. Kudos.
The conversation goes along, blah, blah, blah. "Hey Mrs. Neuwirth, have you ever eaten real chicken?" "Yes, I have." "Does your fake chicken taste like it." "It kind of tastes like it, but the texture is different." blah, blah, blah. Then the kids, 4 in middle school and 2 in 5th grade (my kid being one of the latter) start comparing who knows who. Fine, fine. Then the boy asks my daughter's name. She gives it. He repeats it incorrectly. She restates it. The he says...wait for it...seriously this is a quote..."Oh, I know you. Someone said you used to be little and now you've gotten a lot bigger."
The whole table realizes that he is referring to her weight. Everyone knows she is rounder, hippier, and boobier than she used to be. The whole table freezes, including me. I decide in that split second that I need to keep my mouth shut and let my girl deal with this.
This is her worst fear come to life, someone calling her fat. This is what she has cried about on the way to school for the past two days. She has been so worried that people will call her fat with short season and smaller clothes on the way. She calls herself fat, not realizing that puberty will fill you out whether you are ready or not and whether you have the stature to pull it off or not. When your body decides to round out a barely over 4 foot 10 year old, it's going to look different than on a 5'1" 13 year old.
Fat, fat, fat, fat. This is what she worries about. This is what she now is faced with. I hold my breath and wait for the barrage of tears, the screaming, the hurt for days to come.
"Oh, I know you. Someone said you used to be little and now you've gotten a lot bigger." My girl, "Really? Thanks for sharing!" All the girls at the table, "What is wrong with you?" "Why would you even say something like that?" "You don't need to repeat things all the time." etc. etc.
Translation: You dumb ass, what the hell is wrong with you? That was an ass-hat thing to say so you should just shut up now.
I like the way these ladies have handled the situation. My daughter looks at me and I just give a nonchalant shrug to confirm it's all good and boys are stupid. This satisfies her and she repeats her original response. The girls continue to mumble disbelief at the boy. I finally breath. In the back of my head I am wondering if there will be fall out later when she is driving home, going to bed or getting ready for school tomorrow.
There is no fall out.
She is fine.
I think that she has had to face a big fear of hers and she saw that it did not swallow her up. She was able to stand her ground. Not only that, she had backup. He didn't. She did. She fought and she not only won, she kicked ass!
Keeping my mouth shut was not easy. But, the support of her peers and her sticking up for herself was much more powerful and necessary than anything I could have done or said. I am proud of my girl and her friends. I think this was a huge opportunity for growth and she took it. I am proud.
Well, that is one monkey back in the jungle and out of my mind. With one monkey on his way out, I have a feeling others will follow. That's the way it is with monkey mind. If I can get a single primate moving on, a single task done, one good parenting moment accomplished, momentum tends to build.
I wish everyone a monkey free day and opportunities to face your fears and kick the crap out of them like my daughter did. She is awesome!!
This blog is a stream of conciousness from my head to the keyboard to the screen. There will be talk of random subjects. If you have delicate eyes, proceed with caution. I like to talk about controversial subjects and sex a lot. So, take heed my friends. This is not a blog for debate, but for love and sharing. If your views do not match my own, love to you, but don't bring the rest of us down. That's all I'm saying.