Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Wasn't Talking About You

The upside of a blog is that it's short and doesn't take long to read or, usually, to write. I normally don't spend a ton of time composing and editing and polishing and shining the jewels of wisdom that I drop into this space. The downside of a blog is that sometimes you, my dear reader, may get hit over the head with a jewel so unpolished it more closely resembles a hammer than a diamond. 

I'm so sorry! I wasn't talking about you!

If you were offended because I expressed irritation at parents who appear completely tone deaf to the disturbance they and their kids cause during solemn occasions, I apologize. I wasn't looking at you when I said that. I know you are trying to teach your children how to behave in this kind of occasion, and you can't do that unless you are AT this kind of occasion. I know you have prepped your children in advance that this is a Quiet Place, and a Sit Still place, and you have age-appropriate quiet activities in your bag that you distribute during the age-appropriately boring sections of the occasion.

(Although, if you are letting your child jump on the pew beside you without making it a teaching moment and firmly returning said child's fee to the floor, I'm looking at you.)

My feelings on this are exactly the same as are expressed right here--"That Mom" says eloquently what I meant to say, which is that I'm glad you are here with your children. 

But learning how to be age-appropriately attentive during church or a commencement service or a movie is a skill that must be taught, and even if your kids aren't quite there yet, I see you working hard to teach them this skill. Keep up the good work! Could I mop your brow or bring you a glass of cold water? I know this is grueling and often discouraging.

When the Boys were small and Husband and I were trying to herd the four of them into silence during sermons, my mother promised me that once they were older church would become worship again and not a battle of wills and don'ts. She was right, and there is no greater joy than seeing your children beside you in church as adults. 

So if you are one of the hard-working parents who are teaching their children age-appropriate behavior in public places, good for you! I'm proud of you, and this investment of sweat equity will pay off down the road.

I wasn't talking about you.

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