Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mulling it over

I've been thinking a lot about the facebook exchange I posted yesterday, and now that I've had time to calm down--I have some more thoughts on the matter.

First of all, I am not proud of how I responded.  This teenager was rude, inconsiderate, and downright mean, and I got angry.  While I think that my comments were still in bounds, I need to work on not getting mad about this kind of ignorance, but just teaching in a loving, respectful way.  It seems counterproductive for me to want to teach the world about inclusion and acceptance if I get mad when people don't like the lesson. 

The hard part is that this issue revolves around MY BABY, and I don't want her to get hurt.  But unfortunately, getting hurt is part of life, and I need to learn to control my reaction so that my children can learn how to handle mean people in a kind way too.  This is going to be hard to do!  But I promised Miss Banana I would do whatever I could to make the world a better place for her and responding in kindness to the haters is part of that.

I appreciate everyone's reassuring comments and the encouragement to keep working towards the elimination of that word.  I am so grateful for all the good people in the world that make any effort to be more understanding, more considerate, more kind to those who are different from them.  To all of you who set a good example of love and kindness--THANK YOU!!!


Adrienne said...

I'm right there with you. I totally need to work on not letting my emotions take over. It's so hard not to want to protect your kids from any "mean" people in the world and totally act like "mama bear" and let the claws come out-which I don't think you did by the way. It's going to be hard but that really is the only way people will change, by seeing a kind heart rather than an angry one. I think you're doing great though!

E. Lee said...

Don't be too hard on yourself my dear, everyone has to start at the beginning. The important thing is that you don't let it ruin how YOU feel about YOU and your family, and that will absolutely come with time.

A few thoughts for you...1.)the internet gives people the opportunity to act without fear of consequences. He wouldn't have said those things to you if you were having that conversation face to face. I'm not sure if that helps, but it's something to think about. 2.) your response was passionate, and was a perfectly appropriate to someone you trusted. You would have though a little more about raising the point if you though he'd act the way he did (ie: if you thought that he couldn't be trusted to act in an emotionally mature manner) and you got blindsided. Trust. Betrayed. Grrr. 3.) I'm learning that anger is a natural response to a feeling of entitlement. This goes with the trust thing above. When you tell yourself that you're entitled to XYZ and someone doesn't provide that to you, you get angry. Ms. B is absolutely entitled to be respected and to live life free of suffering at the hands of rotten people. And you are entitled to ask that of people on her behalf while she's growing. I guess what I'm trying to say is, again, don't be too hard on yourself for feeling angry. Over time your Advocate Instincts will kick in and override the anger. You were always the voice of reason in our friendship. The person I tried to be more like when things were going wrong. Your instincts will guide you. ;)

Goethe said...

Being a mother is akin to being a 'weekend warrior'. One never knows when you'll be called to battle-or with whom. It is important to be prepared. It is also important to concentrate your efforts on fortification and protection in times of 'peace', then aim your 'weapons' at the place where they will do the most good.

Bethany said...

You are fine ... this kid was way out of line. What a schmuck. I'm curious how you know him? And if you are still friends on fb? LOL. I wonder what his parents would think? Stand your ground ... it won't ever get easier and you'll get just as mad every time ... it is the momma bear in us. :)

Anonymous said...

Well said.

My less extreme example revolved around Pirate Week at the camp I worked at last summer. It really bothered me that the staff handed out plastic hooks as props and one boy tucked his arm into his shirt and tied a knot in sleeve as part of his costume (this bothered me the most because this is how so many children with limb differences have to wear their clothes). My heart just ached for my son and all the kids with limb differences. Pirates aren't the only people that need prostheses or have to wear the clothes a certain way because they are missing part of a limb. I tried to convey my concerns to some of the other staff, and they thought I was being too sensitive: "Relax! It's just for fun!" Sigh. It's hard to take it easy when you are constantly worried about how your child will handle such situations.

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