Dancing in Wal Mart

baby with yellow flowersMy husband and I were walking down the grocery isle in Wal Mart. The baby was in her car seat in the main section of the cart and she had just woken up with a big smile. Oh how I love that smile! Nothing fills your soul like the smile from a sweet baby.

That smile has great influence over me. I will do all kinds of things to coax it out from its hiding places. In this case, I forgot that I was in a very public place surrounded by people, and I began to do a little dance as I wiggled my fingers above my baby, chanting “I’m gonna tickle! I’m gonna tickle!” in a high sing-songy voice.

The baby laughed and cooed and my husband chuckled. Wanting more of those sweet baby sounds I continued my dance. My husband’s chuckle turned into a full out laugh, and I realized he wasn’t just laughing because of how cute the baby is… at the same moment I realized he wasn’t the only one laughing. I looked up and saw that almost everyone within 20 feet of me was laughing. On the other side of the isle two middle aged men were copying my movements as they laughed and several women were quickly turning their heads so as not to appear as if they were staring.

Oh dear, I thought, I’m putting on a free comedy improv. “They’re mocking me!” I told my husband, “No, they just think it’s cute.” he told me. “You’re a fun mom.”

Then it hits me. I may be a cool fun mom now, as I dance in a crowded grocery store for my baby, but in a few short years I will be the so not cool mom who forgets from time to time that free comedy improv doesn’t illicit the same coo and giggle it used to.

Oh well, I don’t have to think about those days yet. All I have to think about is how to make my baby smile and laugh, because I’ll do all kinds of things to see that smile.

Sweet Spirits

I have a lot of faults. I can be lazy, prideful, and generally annoying. Sometimes I procrastinate, show up late, or lose my temper. It’s pretty normal to be imperfect, but if I could snap my fingers and choose one thing to change I would change my general judgemental-ness (there I go again making up words).

When people treat me well, I’m pretty good about not judging them. But isn’t it the case that those who need love and kindness the most are also the ones that treat us the worse.

We are all affected by obnoxious people. Whether they are family members, co-workers, school-mates, neighbors, or ward members makes little difference. They’re those people who insist that they are always right and you are always wrong. The ones who have to disagree with everything you say. They’re those people that are always sending little jabs your way whether the jabs are open or thinly veiled.

And with every mean word, with every criticism, with every dark look it gets harder and harder to like them. I wish I was the kind of person who can just turn the other cheek, that sweet person who just laughs it off and forgets it. I’m sure I’d see an increase in happiness.

I was talking to my husband the other day, and I mentioned an occasion when one of those obnoxious people had said something rude to him about his schooling. He didn’t remember the occasion. I know it bothered him at the time. I remember his comments when we were alone that night, but after a while he just let it go. He forgot it and regardless of whether he was treated any different (which he wasn’t) he frankly forgave.

Wow. I’m good at forgiving when people change the way they’re treating me, but when they continue being jerks I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it.

Instead I tend to judge them. I sit and think about how mean they are when I should be thinking about their situations. When I do that I realize that almost every jerk has a back story. It’s just like in the movies where you learn about the villain’s sad child hood or low self-esteem. Unfortunately, in real life the behavior doesn’t change after having a touching heart to heart. But here’s the thing, who am I to judge?

I think it’s one of those out of this world concepts I’ll be working on for the rest of my life, one of my big weaknesses, but we’re promised that our weaknesses can become our strengths right?

So consider this my official online declaration that I will try a little harder when dealing with obnoxious jerks. They may be obnoxious and jerky but they have their own reasons for being obnoxious and jerky and it’s not up to me to judge those reasons (other than to observe and say I won’t act that way).

Hmmm…I think I’m sounding less than sincere. Does being non-judgemental mean I have to sugar coat everything? What? You think I’m an idiot? Well, that comment doesn’t make you a jerk… it makes you a… sweet spirit. Yeah, that’s it, a sweet spirit. :)

http://lds.org/liahona/1984/06/judge-not?lang=eng&query=obnoxious

looking back on the colic stage

As I sat pondering the colic stage that we recently came out of with our baby girl I was thinking of some of the avenues I tried to use in order to get help. I did a few things.

1. Advice from friends/family/complete strangers aghast at why I can’t keep my baby quiet in the grocery store – Whether asked for or not I got a lot of advice – and since I was pretty at a loss and I’m so new at this I generally listened pretty eagerly. A few things were helpful, such as: this will end! a few things weren’t, such as: just don’t worry about it (really? my child is SCREAMING in my ear and I’m supposed to not worry?)
2. Advice from Internet Forums: When I got the most frustrated I would type things into Google such as: baby won’t stop crying? WHY????. The results were similar to the family/friend/stranger results. Some things were helpful (Be consistent with night time routines), and some things weren’t. I actually read a comment where a woman said that if a child is crying you MUST keep holding/comforting the child at all times, to heck with everything else – were I to follow this advice I don’t believe I would have showered, used the restroom, cooked dinner, cleaned, or pretty much done anything for at least three months time. I have a hard time believing that woman to be the mother of a colicky child, more like some psych major without kids.
3. Ask for Advice and Comfort from the Lord: Honestly, part of this felt like mixed results too. Sometimes, I wasn’t given any special advice from the Lord on what to do. But I was ALWAYS given comfort, and man did it make all the difference.

Have a great General Conference Weekend everyone! And if you don’t get those specific answers you’re looking for, maybe try seeking comfort instead. He’s there. He loves you. He will answer you, just maybe not in the way you want. I’m praying I’ll remember that as I seek some direction for my life and family. :)