20 Dec Moms are Embarrassing
So, I embarrassed my daughter for the first time. Like, really embarrassed her as only a mom can.
We went to see the Christmas lights as a family. We do it every year. We have a nice dinner, then everyone gets on their jammies. I make hot cocoa and we pile in the car. We used to walk around and look at the lights, but then I had five kids and they are all wacky, and it always turned into a ‘situation’ – so, now we drive. It’s fun. We roll down the windows and play Christmas music, sing, dance and check out all the fabulously decorated houses. This was the setting for my ’embarrassing mom’ moment. We were singing to Christmas songs on the radio when Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” came on. I (of course!!!) turned it WAY up and started singing at the top of my lungs. I mean, hello???!!! It’s Mariah Carey. You have to do it. All the kids were singing along and laughing, then I noticed a couple of families on the sidewalk outside who had stopped and were listening to us (or me, really) sing super loud. The families were kind of chuckling, no big deal really. I’m still singin’ away – I don’t care what the sidewalk people think, we were having fun. That’s when I saw Caite, she too saw the people on the sidewalk listening to us, and was mortified. THEN, I see out of the corner of my eye, her making the ‘crazy lady’ eye roll to them and drawing an air circle around her ear and pointing at me. WHAT??? Yep! She straight called me crazy. Did I stop? No, of course not. But as I drove away, I kind of had my feelings hurt. She used to love singing and being a goofball with me in the car. And now she is embarrassed by me? It was sad. The more I thought of it though as we drove home (now singing Feliz Navidad) that it was actually kinda disrespectful too. I started getting more annoyed by the whole thing. Thinking it over and about how I was going to address it when we got home – what specifically I wanted to ‘talk’ to her about – the real reason I was bothered, surfaced. She LOVES singing and dancing and having fun – but just because those sidewalk people were now watching us and maybe laughing at us, she changed her whole behavior. She was so worried about what those strangers thought about her and her crazy mom, that she stopped doing something she really liked to do. That is what it was. That was why I was so upset. Not because she called me crazy – geez, I’m sure that will happen 92,000 more times before she leaves for college – but because she let someone else’s opinion stop her from being herself.
So that was the lesson we talked about when we got home (mostly, I also did call her out about being rude and disrespectful) – but really, I wanted to stress to her that people are going to have all kinds of opinions. Who cares? That should NEVER stop her from doing what she loves and being who God made her to be. I hope that my daughter quickly realizes this truth and continues to be who she is and do what is important to her.
It was a big ol’ life lesson that came out of going to see Christmas lights – and me loving to sing Mariah Carey and not caring about being embarrassing. But I think this lesson is one that we ALL actually really need to embrace. As Rachel Hollis says in “Girl Wash your Face”, what other people think of us is none of our business. There are always going to be sidewalk people watching us – the best thing we can do, is let them watch us living out our lives boldly. Let them see us enjoying the things around us, being who we are, chasing our dreams with passion, not letting their opinions hold us back – and hopefully, they will catch on and live their lives out in the same way.