Picture this. You’re in line at Target. You see kids in front of you who are old enough to be independent. They are taking photos and laughing at a cashier who has a visible injury to his head. And you are just trying to buy your Bullseye bin items, Wheat Thins, gallon of milk, two 4th of July tees that you didn’t know you needed, and box of tampons.
Do you continue to mind your tampons or do you step in and set the situation right?
Let’s be real. Unless you just got done watching What Would You Do? chances are, you would look at the magazines, read about the 8 ways to get flat abs, and maybe mutter something under your breath or say a passive aggressive, “Wow. You’re jerks.”
But. What if you did want to say something? Would that be kosher? Is that socially acceptable these days?
She saw a few kids being, in her words (and mine) buttholes.
She called them out. Then, she waited with them for their ride and told the adult behind the wheel, the mother of one of the kids, about the situation. That they had openly belittled this man. That they’d put it on their social media. That they’d acted in a way that she felt, if she was their mama, she’d wanna know about.
And guess what? The mama said, “Thank you” right back. She didn’t say, “It’s not your place!” Or “Lady, you’re outta line!” She said, “Thank you!”
And all the mamas reading this rejoice! Right?!
Isn’t this what motherhood should be? A village! A tribe! A “hood” of mamas who watch out and are the eyes and ears when something our kids are doing is buttholish behavior!
I think so. I think we’ve gotten to a place where we’re scared to offer help. Because we don’t want a mama or a papa to think we’re attacking them. In fact, I think this is the key. Mary Katherine wasn’t attacking the parenting behind these kids’ actions. She was trying to help the kids understand that there are always people watching out for goodness. As a parent, when we see the opposite, we offer guidance to help young minds understand that concept.
I don’t want some mama telling me my kids are jackwads and that I am awful or that my kid did something that I don’t think is worthy of their judgment. Like if my kids won’t eat their peas and you think they should have to take a bite, that’s a parenting decision. But basic human kindness… I believe we can all agree that that calls for a village, right?
I think we’re all aware that we hope upon hopes that our kids have enough of us with them, even when we’re apart, that they won’t act like a bag of peanuts. But the reality is, they are going to make bad choices. They are. They have about a million opportunities nowadays to make decisions and post them in a place without having to think them through. They are not always going to do what is right. Heck, even adults (like yours truly) do not always make the right decision. How can we expect kids to keep a perfect record? Also, let’s all just acknowledge right now that none of our kids are perfect and we can lend thoughts without lending judgment. Let’s lend less thoughts about other people’s decisions as parents and more compassion to understand that there are no perfect humans out there. We can all get by with a little help from our friends.
Let’s all be warriors. Together. Let’s be each other’s tribe. Each other’s ears. Let’s rock this village thing together. And let’s all say, “Thank You!” to the mamas willing to step in when necessary. And help make our village stronger.