Here’s to the beautiful moments in public with children, where they blurt out what the rest of us are thinking. Now, I write this in love and with a genuine attitude of thanks to the other mothers who know that getting everyone in the house dressed in the morning is a major accomplishment.
Now, we live in a military town. As such, there is an abundance of establishments and advertisements that I will avoid driving near while my sons are with me. In my attempts at raising sons with integrity, I drove a longer scenic route toward a destination the other day in an effort to avoid passing multiple strip clubs and similar advertisements. As I unloaded my little boys from the car, I walked past a few other mothers who were dropping their kids off. We nodded at each other with knowing smiles, scanning the sea of yoga pants, college sweatshirts and pony tails.
After the drop-off I headed to my next destination; to forage and plunder the grocery store in hunt for dinner. On this day the sun was out and it felt more like spring; when reveille sounded, a wild cry alerted the ladies to don their 7 year old daughter’s shorts and tank tops and head out into public without any means of undergarment. It was frightening. I am sure I’ll be bashed for being ‘judgmental’ for this, but all I am asking is to be able to go into public without knowing the exact silhouette and birth mark locations of total strangers. I’m all for feeling confident about a natural body, but reaching past fellow mothers to get a carton of eggs shouldn’t feel like this.
Now, outings with toddlers are full of embarrassing moments when little talkers blurt out things that others are thinking. I’ve been fortunate enough to overhear gems like, “Mommy, her butt is showing!” and “He shouldn’t burp like that, Momma.” My favorite is when a toddler tells a grown man to pull his pants up off the ground after going potty. (Bless the children!)
I am not quite at that point yet with my little ones, but my little ones are still very…expressive.While I may keep a straight face, my youngest son does NOT. I must share these moments with you.
“Sir? Your pants seem to be…on the ground.”
“Oh boy. I’m not the best speller, but even I know that tattoo is spelled incorrectly.”
“Good night above Texas. I just threw up in my mouth a little.”
“Sir! NICE bow-tie!”
Well, I am here to say THANK YOU today. Thank you, mother who is wearing a pair of faded jeans rather than spandex shorts or threadbare pajamas. Thank you, Sir, for telling your heavy-set wife that she looks beautiful as you kissed her and headed to work. Your daughter and son saw that-a father who saw true beauty in his wife. She DOES look lovely in her modest, black and pearl ensemble.
Thank you, women who are dressing in a way that shows respect to my sons—and to yourselves. This isn’t a knock on club wear of freedom of expression. It’s just a reminder that knowing your thong color isn’t a matter of national security. Freedom of expression works both ways.