Monday, January 13, 2014

Afraid of What?

One of my babies got glasses over the weekend.**

**I have been strictly forbidden from sharing with the masses the cutest picture ever of him in his glasses. (But next time you see me out, I'll show you. Just don't tell him.)

And speaking of this particular child of mine, I set my mind weeks ago to clean and organize his closet so that I could sell some of the toys he doesn't play with anymore. But knowing what I was getting myself into, I've put that nefarious chore off. Until today.

It was worse than I imagined.

I think that every time I have asked him to go clean his room for the past four years, he has taken the things on the floor and tossed them into various containers in his closet. Honestly, I found Legos that haven't even been opened, and this kid loves Legos. It's because he didn't even know they were in there, this place of mayhem.

I just searched "mess" on thesaurus.com, and this word came up: salmagundi. Apparently the formal definition is a mixed dish consisting usually of cubed poultry or fish, chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions, oil, etc., often served as a salad. (There is a most definite possibility that I could also find these in his closet, as I found a clean pair of socks, an opened package of new underwear, and a random sock not belonging to anyone in this family.)

Or any mixture or miscellany.

Which is definitely what I'm going with.

Salmagundi. My son's closet.

I feel a label coming on.

But I digress.

The child had to get glasses. We knew it was coming. We could see him squinting at things that were far away, indicating what we knew would turn out to be the inevitable nearsightedness (which he vehemently denied doing at all. Um, well, see, I can see you squinting, so I actually know that you are, but whatever.) My husband and I are both nearsighted, and were not surprised when we took him to see the eye doctor, who proclaimed: He's nearsighted!

Yes. We knew.

And it will continue to change (that's doctor speak for "get worse") as he gets older!

Yes. We know. Good news. Thank you.

So a trip to the frame store was in order. Besides being fairly difficult about picking out frames, it went rather smoothly. He knew exactly what he wanted (black square frames, or the super-cool red aviator sunglasses that he sooooooo wished they would make into glasses for him--not happening, by the way. Talk about getting made fun of.) And no matter what frames he tried on, he didn't like any of them. Like none. Except for one. Which the woman said were not the best fit, and maybe he should try another pair.

Um...no.

HE HAS TO LIKE THEM. I want him to want to wear them. So he has to like them. I know they should probably fit better around the temple. But he likes them. We'll worry about fit the next go round.

He was amazed at how clear everything was. (Perhaps it would have been a good idea for his parents to take him to the eye doctor earlier. Fail.)

So he wore them around all weekend, getting used to them.

And then last night, after calling me back to his room for the 43rd time, he finally said what was truly on his mind:

I'm afraid {sniff} people will {sniff, sniff} make fun of me.

Oi, my heart.

I tried to reassure him, give him some funny comebacks (well, I guess "I don't care what you think" isn't that funny, but I've never been quick on my toes with a good comeback anyway), and tell him that if he's happy with how he looks and is confident, that's really all that matters.

Right?

But how many times have we as adults been afraid of the same thing, when it comes right down to the truth?

What will people think if I...

...go out without makeup?
...my hair isn't done?
...my toes aren't painted? (a personal worry of mine in the summertime)
...my outfit isn't right?
...I gain weight?
...my house is messy?
...my car is old?

The list could go on and on as one insecurity after another presents itself in our mind.

When I asked my son if the kids in his class had ever made fun of someone else in the grade who has glasses, he shook his head no. I was confused. Then what was he so afraid of?

Sometimes I get so caught up in the things that I'm not happy about, whether that be about appearance or any other insecurity, that I think other people will notice right away and judge me on the spot. But I can't control other people's thoughts or opinions, and what does it really matter anyway? Confidence doesn't come from what other people think. It comes from knowing who you are and who you belong to.

So what are we so afraid of?

No one
can make you feel
inferior
without your
consent.”
 {Eleanor Roosevelt}

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