Last night we had a surprise chance for a lesson with our children.
We were sitting at the dinner table when someone suggested we go for a walk after dinner. Josh and I said that sounded great, but that maybe we should spice it up a bit by dressing up for our walk (we were just being silly).
Well, our 11 year old daughter's eyes nearly bulged out of her head. She is becoming very conscious of being cool and about the coolness factor of the things around her. I realize this is normal, but it is an important thing for us to address.
Aubrey got up from the table with a bit of a glare at me and said, "Mom. Don't." And then she skulked off to get ready for our walk.
Well, that sounded like a dare to me and those of you who really know me know that I can't really pass up a dare.
Now, let it be said that I had no real intention of walking the neighborhood in this ridiculous get up because I don't ever intentionally embarrass my family...ok, almost never. However, Josh and I thought it would be a little bit of fun to tease our daughter. We thought we would all get a good laugh in our living room.
So this is what I did.
When Aubrey came upstairs she was mortified.
She actually started crying -- which was not our intention -- but now Josh and I felt like we were facing a bigger problem. This girl is so worried about what other people think that she is sobbing about going on a walk with her dorky parents. That's a problem.
So, we invited her to sit on our front porch with us (which, to her credit, she did even though she wasn't exactly happy about it). We asked her what it was going to hurt to be seen with freak show parents.
She said, "You guys look like weirdos!" We reminded her that we actually are weird and that we aren't afraid to let pieces of that show from time to time.
She explained a bit of her feelings of embarrassment and we had a really good discussion about the importance of being who you are no matter what anyone else thinks. We talked about the person you are inside and how much more that matters than what you look like outside. It actually turned into a really fabulous moment.
By the time we finished our chat we were ready for our walk. I stripped off my superfluous clothing and looked as normal as I get by the time we left the house.
But the big surprise was that when Aubrey came up from her room she was wearing a fuzzy pink hat, gigantic movie star sunglasses and my bulky brown scarf. She walked the neighborhood that way and I could not have been more proud of her.
It turned out to be a wonderful evening....until Ellie peed all over Josh when we stopped at the park. But that's another story.