A few week ago, we followed a young family into church. Mom, Dad, and two young boys. The mom was well-dressed in an attractive blue dress, heels, etc. I didn’t see her face, but I’m sure if I would have, her make-up and hair would have been nicely done, too. Completing her ensemble was a green, furry backpack in the shape of Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. slung over her shoulder. Now, I can’t be 100% sure, but I doubt that was her choice of accessory. I’m sure it belonged to one of her son’s.
Oh, the things we parents do for our children! How many of us have gotten an odd look or two while walking around carrying our child’s beloved blanky or stuffed animal (while the child is nowhere to be seen)? How about a burp cloth, casually slung over our shoulder? I remember walking through Stuff Mart with a big, gold glittery bow in my hair courtesy of my preschooler. She had been playing with my hair earlier and I forgot it was there until I got to the car and glanced in the rear-view mirror. Believe me, it looked much better on her for her dance recital than it did on me.
To those new to the parenting scene, it can be embarrassing. However, those days soon fade away and turn into an I-don’t-care attitude. One day I ran into a friend while running errands. The top of her shirt was covered in stickers. When I pointed it out she shrugged it off. “Oh, yeah. My daughter was sitting on my lap and putting stickers on me.” and continued on with our conversation. This mom obviously didn’t care that her chest was full of brightly colored cartoon characters. She and her daughter had shared a special one-on-one moment (hours before) and this was the result. Why should she be embarrassed by that?
That encounter with my friend helped me change my perspective on such occurrences, and I often need to reflect back on it to remind me of what is truly important. Just today, if you were at the grocery store, you would have seen me donning a cheap strand of beads my daughter won playing a carnival game. Did I think it was the best way to accessorize my outfit? Was this shiny, plastic necklace the best compliment to my green t-shirt and blue jeans? No, but the smile on my little girls face as she draped it around my neck put a smile on my face, and I’m sure that improved my look a hundred-fold.