Monday, December 15, 2008

What are you going down in flames over?

I met an old friend from our old church at the Conservatory today. It was about 6 degrees outside and our car doors were frozen so shut that I ended up having to crawl in the passenger's seat to get to the driver's seat and then, once we got there, I had to kick my door open really hard to get out. It was fun to see them, though! Totally worth it.

She's a laid back mom about things like letting your kids wander around, (like me) so we sat on the steps of the big palm room (blocking the only exit) and let our kids explore. No one else was in there and she had to nurse her youngest one, so we figured they'd be safe. We STILL don't know how it happened, but suddenly Claire said she couldn't find Sam and Roxanne, so I went to get them. Thinking they must be just hiding from her, (since they couldn't have left) I was calm. But after about 3 times around the room, I was panicked. My friend stayed at the entrance to the room and I went running through the Conservatory rooms asking people: "have you seen a little boy and girl together? About the same height? 3 years old?" Several had, but said "it was a while ago". WHAT? How had they gotten out???? I finally found them in the desert room, and they were just walking around checking out the cactus. I was shaking so much I had to just sit down by them and say " can never leave the room your mommies are IN!" while panting and catching my breath. Maybe laid back parenting has it's downfalls.

The ironic part was that while our kids were roaming the conservatory, we were having a conversation about Christmas. She is trying to totally reassess Christmas for her family, to the point that they aren't doing a Christmas tree (apparently it's a German pagan tradition?) or really any presents. She just moved back from a smaller town in Indiana, and she was telling me how frustrating it is to re-enter the much more materialistic city of Chicago. I was agreeing, but had to embarassingly admit that I'm kinda into the presents and cookies and all that which has always been a part of Christmas for me. I know what she means, and I'm really working on making sure we have many meaningful, Christ-centered traditions (advent wreath, singing carols together before bed, making Birthday cards for Jesus...all that good stuff) but I thought it was interesting how very important it was to her to throw out all materialism. My husband would love her.

And it just made me think about how we all have our "things" that we really go down in flames over. Sometimes, we can isolate ourselves into a little community of other moms who share our "things". But even amongst moms who think alike on SOME things, we are bound to have differences. Personally, I'm not too much of an isolater of myself. I'm much too social and need way too much adult interaction to limit myself to the one or two people who share my beliefs/thoughts on most things. I'm also a bit of a people pleaser, (a bit?) so if you tell me that you don't eat meat, I'll probably throw out my carton of bacon and say "me too!" or at least "oh, yeah, I mean, I eat it, but I totally believe you that it's bad. I was thinking of becoming a vegetarian actually. Vegan even!" No, I'm not that bad. But lets just say that for most differences I share with people, I can roll with the punches.

But I do have my things. I have my things that I tend to be a judgy-judgy pants about; if not only in my head.

I care about kids getting a good education, which probably means something different to me than to some others (I'm a little Waldorf, a little Montessori, a little Classical, and probably a little whatever-I-think-is-best).

I care about kids eatting actual food and not just Kraft kids food (although my husband would say I allow WAY too many treats...but I figure, if they just ate salmon and brown rice, a little Christmas fudge never hurt anyone!).

When I had babies, I was pretty into letting them cry-it-out at some point so that we weren't constantly having to sleep with them and draw out bedtime into a long arduous activity. I didn't really care if other people did this, but I think Matt and I would be divorced today if we didn't have at least a few hours together every night! And that is one idea that can divide moms into two groups right there. We cry-it-outers are rolling our eyes at the women who spend 2 hours getting their child to sleep at night, only to have to do it again and again throughout the night every time they fuss. And trust me, I know you attachment parenting-types (who I wanted to be like sometimes because it seems like a much nicer mom!) are looking at us thinking that we are abusing our children and totally making them feel insecure and abandoned in this world when we don't respond to their cries. And I get that. And I respect that. But I couldn't do it.

I have weird issues about church. I don't like people singing in big dramatic ways from up front. Choir: fine. Praise and worship team wearing flashy outfits: nope. It seems like they are putting on a show to me. But maybe I have issues from growing up Presbyterian. I also don't like flowery religious talk. Say too many "church" words and I'm already rolling my eyes. Personally, I have a hard time praying out loud because, having grown up in the church, I feel like I'm just praddling off a bunch of Christianeeze that sounds so canned! I start with "Thank you Lord for this day and for your care. We pray that you would just let yourself be shown in this situation...." and I'm already judging myself! Even if I mean those words, I just start thinking "talk like a normal person!"

I don't like it when people show off. And I can detect showing off from a mile away. In fact, I probably show off that I don't show off! That's how much it bugs me. And, it's not neccessarily that I mind if someone has something better than me, or does something better than me, but don't try to show it off! Trust me, I'm already admiring you for it so don't embarass yourself with self-glorification.

There are other things I hold myself to (Carbs are bad! Protein is good!) and some of them I hold other people to, and some are just my own preferences. But it's funny how as soon as we get something in our mind, we hold everyone else to it, you know?

Maybe we should all just lay our weapons down and just try to get along. But what fun would that be? Right?

1 comment:

ohio12 said...

what am I NOT going down in flames over? sheesh, it must be in our blood.