I've been thinking a lot about what I wrote yesterday. Of all the things I've written in the past year and a half, that one hit home for me the most. I think because I didn't worry about what other people would think about it. Or worry that someone that knows me would read it and see a side of me that they hadn't seen before. Or worry that I was saying something that would upset other people. I just wrote what was in my heart. I wrote my true feelings. And I wrote about something that I've been thinking about for a long time. NOT just since November, when I first read Cops Wife's post. It's something that I've struggled with for a very long time. And reading that post from Cops Wife made me realize how important that subject is to me.
You see, I've pretty much been in the "outcrowd" my whole life. I'm not skinny, or pretty or popular or smart or an athlete. I'm just me. And I've spent my whole life worrying about what other people think of me, and wanting to please everyone because I want them to like me. But guess what? That doesn't always work. I've tried SO hard with some people, people that SHOULD like me, or at least PRETEND to like me, but they don't. And I don't know why. I've tried figuring it out. I've tried analyzing everything I've said and done around them, and I honestly don't know what it is that they don't like about me. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everyone likes me. Because that's pretty much far from the truth. But for the most part, I can get along with just about anybody. (Except maybe my hubby and my kids on any given day! ;) )
BUT, I can pretty much get along with most people because I don't make waves. I don't instigate. I don't talk politics or religion. I don't always tell my true feelings. And I'm okay with that. I have a few select friends that I can be honest with. And I know they will love me, for ME. I don't have a lot of "friends". I never have. And that used to bother me. I'd look around and see these people that have hundreds of friends, and I'd think, why can't I be like that? Why can't I be someone that everyone "flocks" to? But then I realized, they don't really have "friends." They have acquaintances. I have a lot of those too. That doesn't make them anymore special than me just because they have more acquaintances than I do.
Yeah, I may only have a few friends, but I know those friends will be there for me when I need them. I know they love me for the person that I am. I'm never going to look like Sandra Bullock. It's not going to happen. I look more like Roseanne Barr. But they've chosen to look past my "looks" to see the person that I am inside. And while I may not be the greatest person in the world, far from it, there are a lot of people I've met in my life that never got the opportunity to know ME, because they couldn't get past the outside. They couldn't get past the fact that I'm not good at sports, or a brain, or pretty, or skinny.
THAT'S why Cops Wife's post was so important to me. Because even as adults, ABC were still acting like children. But you know what? They're not the only ones. People do it all the time. ADULTS do it all the time. How can we teach our kids to be more accepting of people, when they look at us and see that we aren't doing the same thing? How can we expect them to be better people? They're just following our example. I TRY to teach my kids not to judge people. Their Mom is fat. Guess what? It's a fact of life. Do I WISH I wasn't? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THE POPE CATHOLIC? Of course I wish I wasn't. But I am. I have been for as long as I can remember. But guess what? They still love me. And I think because they love me, they are more accepting of people that are overweight. They have 2 cousins that are handicapped. Jason is almost 12. Do you know less than 1 year ago he said, "____ is handicapped?" It never even registered with him. Because he's been around him his whole life. He just knows him as his cousin. I WANT my kids to be a little naive. I want them to be accepting of people that aren't like them. I want them to embrace the differences in people. I want them to look inside of someone before they decide whether or not they want to be friends with them.
Yeah, I'm not the best parent in the world. But I do my best to teach my kids to accept other people. I do my best to teach them that everyone is different. And I do my best to teach them that there's more to a person than just what you see on the outside. And I hope and pray, that by teaching them these things, that they WON'T become the bullies on the playground.