I grew up watching Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, you name it, I watched it. We tell our children stories of extraordinary people who do the right thing, no matter the personal costs involved. But how many people actually do that?
I’m trying to teach my kids two rules for life:
1) Do the right thing, even when nobody is looking.
2) Nobody is perfect.
For me, those two rules encompass everything, every situation. I try to practice what I preach. I try not to get angry when people do stupid things, and I don’t yell at the parents who yell at me. Everyone has a different perspective and mine might not always be the best.
Every night for the last few months, I’ve been taking time off to knit and find a little bit of peace. It is a luxury I am grateful for. It also provides a perfect time for my hubby to bond with his sons.
I picked a quiet park, that is about as safe as can be expected. Most of the time no one bothers me there. Last week, there were two boys, full of life and mischief. One of the boys climbed on top of a giant rock at the entrance to the walking path. The rock was about 10 feet tall, and 6-8 feet away from a busy street. The boy was waving to cars and kind of dancing. Even with my headphones on, I could hear him proclaim, “I’m king of the world!”. Lovely thought. I was a bit jealous of that freedom. Then, I saw him slip.
He regained his footing and his shenanigans. I packed my stuff up and walked over. Our conversation went a bit like this:
“Are you going to get down, or should I call the cops?”
“Why? What am I doing wrong?”
“Well, I think it looks like fun up there, and I am a wee bit jealous. I don’t want to be the one to tell your folks I did nothing when a gust of wind knocks you off into traffic. Your odds of survival wouldn’t be very good.”
“Okay! Just for you, I’ll come down”
No yelling, no attitude. Just pointing out my perspective. Amazingly enough, there were no auto accidents by distracted drivers.
It’s not my job to parent someone else’s kiddo. I know that’s what most people would think. My problem is that I knew the worst that could happen, and I really didn’t want someone else’s mom crying, asking why I didn’t stop him. There are many things I do, that aren’t my job. It takes a village to raise a child, and I hope someday, someone will return the favor.
I don’t want to teach my kids to be superheroes. I want to teach them to speak up, with respect. Saying something that needs to be said, is an important job. People may not like you. They may get mad and try to shut you up. “But a voice, like a whisper, is bound to be heard”.
The badly behaving mom that yelled at me on Friday, She called and talked the principal, AND left her number, should I want to talk. No thank you. if she wants to talk, she knows where to find me. I volunteer everyday, same time, same place.