I think my favorite quote of all time is, "What other people think of you is none-ya business." Now, yes I did spell that incorrectly but it's done with purpose. you see, you really need to read this quote with a bit of a southern mama's accent and attitude. You need to read it with all the drama and directness of one of the characters from Designing Women....remember that show? I loved that show.
Anyway, I try to keep that quote at the for front of my mind, especially when it comes to parenting. Worrying about what other people think of you is like a disease that will rob you of all joy and strength. Still, every now and then I catch myself. My kids will do something naughty and dramatic in public and my first instinct is to scan the room or area for any onlookers.
The perfect and most hilarious example happened a few months ago in Florida. I now have official snowbird parents and I took a cheap flight with my two kids to liven up their lives for a week. One day, we must have been feeling especially brave, and we took a half hour trip to an outdoor outlet mall. My parents know how to shop which apparently didn't travel through the genetic DNA to me very well. While they kept on with the shopping marathon, I decided to spare a few of the shops the introduction to my worn out and bored kids. Whoever planned the mall decided that Florida was lacking in fountains and installed one at every single intersection of the malls crossroads. It made for good entertainment me and the kids, and thankfully, I was well stocked in pennies. At the last fountain, I decided to get a picture of my darlings. You can see where this is going right?
I still remember saying "smile" and hearing my mom telling our 6 year oldd to keep his whole foot on the fountains step. At that point, I totally dismissed her advice because they were both smiling at the same time and well, that just does not happen in our family.I took the shot and as I lowered the camera, I heard the splash. I screamed, and in what felt like slow motion, reached in to pull out two soaking kids. You can just imagine their howls. They were as shocked as I was.
The part that still drives me nuts is that the next thing I did was look around to see who saw the whole fiasco. I wanted to know how big of a crowd we had drawn and what they thought of it or more accurately, what they thought of me. Amazingly, no one was looking. Either they all had their hearing aids turned off or children fall in these fountains daily. My parents helped me dry tears and we did our best to comfort them without soaking ourselves.
Before I went off to buy new outfits for them (it was the perfect excuse to splurge after all), I snapped off an after shot. When I look at the before and after I just shake my head and laugh. It was awesome. There we were, making a huge splash in life. I'm sure someone did catch it and if it was a local they probably thought, "tourists!" and if it was a mom she probably thought, "glad that's not me" and if it was a grandmother, she probably thought "oh, mother's these days!" but really it's nona my business!