This week has given me the opportunity to reflect on the ways we agree by not saying anything at all.
While in circles of folks not on the same living path as I, I have been known to sit quietly as the circle passes around stories of their children. I don’t mean the kind that shed light to how awesome their kids are, I mean the kind that inform me as to how hard it is to be them, with their kids.
I hate this. I hate that we live in a world where it is almost expected that as a mom, I will not like my kids. That they will be hard to raise, that they will go through the horrid teens and it will be awful for me as their mother. Don’t get me wrong I am fully fully aware that this job of poop wiper, snot cleaner, vomit remover has moments that drive me to the whiskey bottle. But the overall big step back look at the people my kids are image, is totally filled with awesome. And I am not interested in sitting around listening to folks who want to blame all the discomfort on their kids.
So this week, I didn’t. Here is a script of what went down.
The other mom1, “Oh we are just commiserating as parents of teenagers.”
Other mom2, “Ya, I have two of them right now. Arghh”
Other mom1 ” Sorry, we aren’t trying to scare you.”
Me, “Oh, I’m not one bit scared. In fact I have been known to prefer the company of children and teens to most adults. They know how to have more fun.”
Other mom1, now launches in to a long story of why her teenager is challenging (her 1 child). To which I reply, “yep, my husband pulls stunts like that all the time. So I’ll be ready for it.”
Other mom1, needs me to see her way. I can’t type it all out but the gist of it is that her son simply will not see himself as a part of the team. He makes decisions based completely on himself, what he wants without thinking of the other team members.
Me, “I think that’s a lot to ask of a child or teenager. Heck, I’m pretty sure that’s all I did right up until I met another human being I adored enough to change my mind for or to team up with.”
At this point Mom1 gracefully exits the conversation.
I am not saying this to paint myself as some got all the answers kick ass mom. I am simply pointing out that by saying something different then those who are complaining about their kids, there is the potential to open doors for new thoughts. Perhaps even a shift in thinking. Or not. It is also just as likely that Mom1 walked away, disqualifying everything I had to say, coining me as some freak and forgetting the whole thing. But I walked away, knowing I hadn’t agreed with her in my silence.
If I had remained silent and simply listened the conversation would have ended with Mom1 and Mom2 thinking I was on the teenagers suck bandwagon. Instead they knew I wasn’t. What they thought of that is 100 percent their shit.
I also walked away more affirmed in what I believe. It’s easy to get lost in the group. To listen silently all the while loosing voice, fitting in. But I don’t wanna fit in to a world that looks at children and teenager as burdens or less then or weaker or troubling or anything other then fully equal human beings.
Silence can be taken to mean, I agree with you. Probing questions, alternative offerings or outright refusals to agree, have the potential to open minds. Or at the very least to let the folks who are listening know I don’t subscribe to that. And at the end of the day, I’m okay with being the crazy lady who likes kids and spins in her hula hoop. Cause I’d rather be all sorts of crazy then silently spreading nastiness to the very people who showed up in our lives simply asking to be loved just the way they are.