Thursday, May 13, 2010

Turn about and all that

I tell my kids constantly that they need to choose whose opinion to value and whose to ignore. It's not that I believe the school yard song about sticks hurting but words not, it's just that I want them to learn to value the right opinions.  Like God's.  And mine.

Often when I get on my high horse about stuff like that it’s because it’s been a while since I had to practice what I’m preaching. Sort of like when they have colds and by day three I’m so over it and my compassion is gone and I’m all, “Buck up! It can’t be that bad.” And on day four I get it and have to apologize for having zero empathy… Well, this week I had a perfect opportunity to take a dose of my own medicine and it definitely needed a spoonful of sugar.

An acquaintance called me about the 5K race. I told her I finished, which was the point of the race, right? Not in her mind. “What was your time?” she asked. I told her and she laughed out loud. Seriously. Out loud. On the phone. In my ear.

My own voice came flooding back in my head: “Who are you going to believe?” Was I going to let the one person who made fun of me ruin my sense of accomplishment, however slow it may have been? Or was I going to focus on the many, many kind and sweet friends and family member who’ve been nothing but encouraging, wonderful cheerleaders?

Do I really have to tell you the answer?

I spent the rest of the day sulking.

I know when my kids fixate on the one negative instead of the insane amounts of positive I give them a major tongue-lashing. “How can you care what that one person thinks? You need to care what God thinks! What I think! What your dad thinks!”

I think I’m going to shelve that speech for a good, long while.

Do I wish my friend had stifled her laughter? Of course. But in hindsight I thank the Lord she giggled because I’ll have more kindness for my little ones the next time they struggle with this issue. And with two teenagers and a ten year old hot on their heels I know we’ll be dealing with it often. I suppose we can work on it together.