Last Friday I took our kids to the library for our regular every-third-Friday trip to the library. As they were wandering around, sitting in every chair to read their books, checking themselves out with the laser scanner, etc (all in the kids area), I saw an older gentleman watching and I could tell he was getting ready to say something about me having my hands full or something like that.
Before he got the chance though I started the conversation with a big smile and said “We have a lot of fun.” Because we do. And that’s what I want my kids to hear adults talking about with regards to them. That they are a joy. That I have fun. That our life is a great adventure. I will not bash my husband in public and I will not do the same to my children. Enjoying our kids is a choice, and it’s a moment to moment choice I have to make, not even a day to day choice. And some times it’s a real hard choice and some times I choose differently. But I try real hard to enjoy them when we’re out in public because I never want them to hear me talking to others about them not being good or fun. Iddo asked me once what “hands full” meant and that’s when I knew we’d been hearing it too often.
As I talked with that proud grandpa that afternoon I realized that I’ve been taking that route, cutting in before strangers can say something stupid, a lot lately. And it’s made me enjoy going out a whole lot more. Besides, it allows me to set the tone for the conversation. When I start it I get to hear about their fun kids or grandkids. Instead of passing on misery we get to pass along joy.