A disturbing thing happened when I was at the YMCA this weekend. I was swimming with the girls and my husband, and I decided to change first to make it easier getting the girls dried off and changed. So I went into the change room alone and overheard a conversation between a mother and her daughter.
The conversation is still haunting me today.
In the 15 minutes it took for me to change, I heard this mother call her daughter (who looked to be 4 years old)..annoying, irritating and crazy. She said "every time you come with me anywhere you annoy the crap out of me."
This little girl is named Lindsey. I know this because while we were swimming, she was sitting on a bench with her mother and as I walked by she smiled at me and asked me my name. I thought this was so sweet and I talked to her for a little bit and she told me her name was Lindsey.
I wish I wish I wish, I had spent more time with her offering her kind words...unlike the harsh ones she was going to receive from her own mother.
Back to the change room...Lindsey's brother had come back from his swim lesson and his mother said "Great job son! I'm so proud of your swimming." Huh? Was this coming from the same change room stall that I had heard the hurtful conversation just seconds earlier?
I guess Lindsey had left the change room because her brother asked where she was and spoke about her birthday (which was today) and his mother said "Yah, her birthday is tomorrow...if she makes it that long, I can't stand her."
I could hardly stand it. I wish I had said something. I just ran out to the pool deck and told my husband what had happened and when our family got into the change room Lindsey, her brother and mother were gone.
I can't stop thinking about this.
Lindsey's mothers words stung me. I cannot imagine what they are doing to that poor girl. Can kids be annoying, irritating and drive you crazy? Um, yah, sure they can. Hearing that mother, however, I could see so clearly how harmful a mothers words can be.
My daughters believe everything I say. Really, I can tell them that I turn into a ladybug at night and ride a unicorn down the street and they would really believe me. Hard to believe...not really. Then how can we not think that these same kids believe every word we tell them positive or not. If a child hears that she is annoying or irritating...how can she not believe it?
The words we tell our daughters today are the words they will hear all their lives. When my daughters grow older and think about me I want them to hear my voice echo "You are beautiful, you are kind, I love you always and I love being with you." Because I mean it, because they deserve to hear it and because I firmly resolve to be careful with my words.
Happy Birthday dear Lindsey. I am sorry I didn't stop the verbal abuse I heard. I prayed for you today and I sang happy birthday to you as well. My prayer was that someone would choose their words carefully for you to hear. That someone would offer kind and loving words to you because you deserve to hear them...no matter what.
Wife to an amazing husband and mom to three beautiful girls. We are a Catholic family raising our children in the faith. We will be beginning our homeschool adventure and look forward to sharing our journey on this blog!