Frogs and Pearls

I never go looking for wisdom in strange places. But one of my greatest joys in life (so what, right?) is when it jumps out at me unexpectedly.

When I started the 6th grade I was headed into a new school and feeling particularly anxious about it. All my old friends knew I had the tendency to touch them when I talked…and that I had a lot to say. The loss of most of my hearing had come to a head and I was riddled with anxiety about having to introduce those things that were me to a whole new group of kids. Not to mention, at a time when kids have a tendency to be huge assholes. Unwelcoming and cruel…I found that doesn’t change much with age. But I’ve learned ways around it. Or at least ways to lessen the blow.

So…when my daughter started kindergarten last year, ahead of the game in a lot of ways, she still had medical eyes on her at most times. And she was worried about what she called “the attention”.ย  Some of us like it. To some, it makes us feel special. And to some…well, we just want to be left in peace and keep the eyes off of us while we go about our business. Everyone else does so why can’t we. And she and I are a lot alike in that way.

I reminded her of something my mom always told me when I was having trouble. “Just Smile”…that’s it. She was right. It helped me out of a lot of difficult situations. And told people more about me than I could explain myself. So when my daughter said “Everyone wants to be my friend! I don’t even know why!”, not only was I over the moon for her, I was able to point out “that’s because you’re always smiling. That’s why people can tell you are a nice girl and they know you want to play”.

And when we came across this silly looking book in the library bookstore a few months later…I knew it would be one of her favorites. And it was. And it is…photostudio_1497893047733

And the first page alone couldn’t be more true, for all of us….photostudio_1497893076992

His one answer?…you guessed it.

 

For a goofy kid’s book, it’s all dead on. I learned this lesson long ago because I needed to. Because I was scared. Because I refused to be left out. Because I genuinely enjoy the company of other people. And because I never wanted to be considered different. Not in the ways I was worried about. And it forced me to be different in ways I was proud of. Regardless of how I’m treated, perceived or judged. By anyone.ย No matter how special they are to me.

But thanks to simple bits of wisdom like this and through knowing her own unique strengths, she is learning, by the grace of God, exactly why she is so special. Not why she’s “different”. It is not our job in life to change others perception of us. It’s our job to change our own.

 

 

14 thoughts on “Frogs and Pearls

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  1. It’s amazing how a simple book can teach so much. Eventually, we want our kids to see why being an individual is a bonus but it’s not until after they get comfortable with themselves. One of the best ways to do that is to feel accepted. Smiling can take a child a long way down that road.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes a looooong time! A long time to learn that! Especially the line between kindness and being taken advantage of โ˜นShowing friendship and openness is a start to learning well…everything. Being approachable hopefully will keep her in the mix

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  2. This was a GREAT, GREAT article. My Italian mother has a cute accent. When we were young and people would be mean or make fun of her being โ€œItalian,โ€ we would go home and tell her. She would always say, โ€œDo like the British, smile and kill them with kindness, then they wonโ€™t know what to do.โ€ So, YOU were right no target with the Smiling. Love the book โ€” HOW PERFECT! Tomorrow, I will think of that Frog and SMILE. :). Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true! They honestly *will* not know what to do with you. AND show them that you are nice in the process! Thank you so much!!! This is one of my favorites ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

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