18 Feb
2014
Posted in: parenting
By    Comments Off on None of Your Business: Becoming Unaware

None of Your Business: Becoming Unaware

I know more times than not, people aren’t giving me as much thought as I selfishly think they are. Among the litany of issues I hope to teach my children to deal with, is how to navigate this world without being caught up in what may or may not be said about you.

I’ll bet there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think, “What someone else thinks about you, is none of your business.” Just be who you are. Be content in your own skin. I feel ridiculous uttering these words to my children, when I struggle with it myself. In the almost 12 years of parenting I’ve done, I’ve learned most lessons are best learned with practical application not just rhetoric.

rasing the unaware

Our 4-year-old, A,  is a born performer. She dances and sings when she’s moved to do so, regardless of time or place. I spend the majority of time with her while the boys are at school and daddy at work. Her joyful outbursts don’t bother me nearly as much as they bother her brothers. Our nine-year-old, J,  is reserved, quiet and not prone to outbursts. My grocery shopping helpers tonight were A and J. Near the end of our excursion, A began belting out songs from Disney’s Frozen. Her hands were waving and facial expressions were lighting up her face. J was not impressed.

J: (leaning in close) “Mom make her stop singing. It’s so embarrassing.”
Me: “I don’t mind happy kids. She’s not bothering anyone.”
J: “Everyone is staring. Stop pushing the cart and look.”
Sure enough…everyone in the produce section was watching her and us. They were looking and smiling. They saw someone unabashedly filled with joy. She was gifting shoppers with a show among the apples and oranges.
Me: “People are looking at us, but they’re smiling. I’d much rather be caught with a child singing and drawing attention than one crying, screaming and throwing a fit.”
J: “Is she going to cry if you make her stop?”
Me: “Possibly.”
J to Me: “Fine. She can sing.”
J to A: “You’re singing is really nice.”

My daughter sang unaware of our conversation or people watching her. That’s what I wish for my children. I wish it was possible to go through life blissfully unaware of whispers and stares. It’s not realistic. At some point, we all are conscious of others’ observations of us. I hope to give my children the tools needed to not be overly aware of what others may or may not be thinking or saying about you. I hope a song is not squelched just because someone might be listening.

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