Kirsten has taught me a million lessons over the years. None so precious, or so engrained, than learning not to care about what others think. I learned it early and I learned it fast.
You see, when someone doesn’t know about our child’s unique challenges, they judge. I don’t bother getting upset… just wish a little lesson-giver into their life. I’m generous like that.
They just don’t know. They don’t know what an awesome job your child is doing. That the “inappropriately loud” voice sounds like music to your ears. That the current meltdown occurred a full 20 minutes into the shopping trip – doubling his prior record! That you are NOT going to get out of line for the Ferris wheel just because your child is “misbehaving.” If you stopped all activities where your child wasn’t appropriate, you would have your wallpaper memorized!
So you see, I have had plenty of practice not caring what others think. And sometimes it is just nice to spread the wealth.
First things first. Grandma cares what others think. Always has. I grew up with “You will not embarrass me like that in public!” ringing in my ears. All that makes this lesson extra special, doesn’t it?! I feel the need to point out I did NOT intentionally set Grandma up. Sometimes the universe is just extra-good to me.
This little lesson takes place on a warm summer day. We were all out in town and Grandma volunteered to take Kirsten home. She pre-empted the offer by asking, “You said Kirsten is doing better with the seatbelt situation, right?” Me: “Oh yes. It’s almost completely gone.” What seatbelt situation, you ask?
Well, there was a time Kirsten decided seatbelts were bad. In fact, to hear her tell it, being strapped into a seatbelt surely meant eminent death. She would pull the lap-portion aaaallll the way out, make a giant loop, and grasp it so tight a bruise would form on the palm of her hand. She meant business!
This broke my rule #1 (Dangerous!) And it was all-out war to end this obsession. After much blood, sweat, and tears, Kirsten was about 95% over this one. Which means, yes, 5% still there.
And of course, being a smarty, Kirsten is going to pick the prime moment to make her final stand.
With Grandma. Yep. If you want to make a last-ditch effort to enforce your no-seatbelt rule, start screaming at the top of your lungs. In Grandma’s tiny Miata. While stopped at the busiest intersection in town. Did I mention Grandma drives a convertible? You got it… TOP DOWN! L-o-n-g-e-s-t 5-minutes of her life. Grandma. Not Kirsten.
See, I told you! Sometimes the universe is just extra-good to me.
Your turn! Please tell me about your favorite shared lesson!