I have a confession to make. I can really be a judgemental jackass sometimes. I don't mean to, and when I catch myself doing it I try to step back and look at my judgements/assumptions/feelings more critically and kindly. Sometimes I fail though... it's a flaw I'm working on.
Case in point. TNT has made a friend I'll call Baby. Baby and her younger sister seem quite nice, very pleasant kids and they've been over before for play dates. TNT and Monkey Pants have been to their house for play dates. I've met Baby's mom on several occasions- and here the judgemental part of me rears it's ugly head.
See Baby's mom has facial piercings, crazy, perpetually disheveled hair, and neck tattoos. I have no moral objection to any of these things - but I admit the pierced tongue, eyebrow, and lip really creep me out, I just REALLY dislike facial piercings. *shudder* The whole package just screams to me, "I MAKE BAD CHOICES!" Baby's mom is very pleasant though.... she seems friendly and is kind to my kids. But she gives off haphazard party girl vibe that makes me leery....
Last time I dropped her girls off at her house there was a big ol' Vodka bottle propping up the garage door. Okay....my first thought... "lush". Not nice, I know I know. I backtracked and had a little talking to with myself, "hey listen, I have no idea how long they had that bottle, if it was a gift, or from a big celebration. Don't be so quick to judge. I have no proof she drinks too much!"
On another occasion TNT was invited to stay for dinner, and when I picked her up she mentioned casually that they had noodles. "oh Spaghetti, or Lasagna or something like that?" I ask. "No, just noodles and salt, sometimes at the end of the month they don't have much food in their house." Certainly not a crime, we struggle here too, to be honest, and frequently we resort to inexpensive dinners once a week of scrambled eggs and toast, or soup and biscuits. But the last time I was over there they had a brand new flat screen TV on the wall... do you hear the judgemental voice I'm trying to control? I really am trying. It's not my business how they spend their money, but Vodka and TV's seem odd choices if you're eating plain noodles - know what I mean?
So I've promised myself that I'm going to continue to be polite, and the kids like each other so there is no reason why they can't play together. However if money is that tight I can't let my kids eat over at her house.... they need to use their resources for their own three kids. That's only fair and right. I won't make a big deal about it, I'll just make sure if she's invited that we have something else we have to do. That way nobody has any hurt feelings.
In an effort to help out a little I am taking a winter coat over that my 12 year old out grew. It's too big for TNT, and Baby is much taller and broader - so while it's going to be a size or two too big I think she'll be able to use it. It's a very good quality coat.
I am going to refuse to let my inner cynic convince me that there is something wrong here unless or until I have all the facts. I mean, I know I'm making judgements based on appearances, and on only having a small amount of interaction with this family. That's growth right? Being aware of my own short coming and acting differently?
Growth... I'm working on it....