Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Earplugs Are Nerdy

So call me a nerd. I'll be a nerd who can still hear when she's 70.

I am literally laughing out nerdy to me!

I wear earplugs at the gym. They're purple.

The music in the classes literally hurts my ears it's so loud. (This is also the reason I am not a huge fan of concerts--just add it to my repertoire of all things nerdy.) And when I first joined a gym (__ years ago) and didn't wear earplugs, my ears would ring so badly, I thought maybe I had damaged my poor hearing. It's not like I hear all that well to begin with, just ask my husband.

So when I noticed that my friend and workout buddy Stephanie was wearing cotton balls in her ears to help with the noise, I followed suit. I used cotton balls for a really long time before I finally graduated to earplugs.

Over the years, a few people have noticed my earplugs, and almost everybody comments on how they need to be doing the same thing. I mean, duh. It's not like hearing ever comes back. I think it's a good idea. Why wouldn't you want to protect your hearing? But when I look around, I definitely stick out, because not one other person uses anything to protect their hearing during our hour-long, deafening classes. Not even the instructors, and they are there everyday, multiple times a day, listening to that loud music. I am the only one in a room full of people (except for the guy in BodyPump that one time who was wearing a big ol' set of earphones, like beats, and no, they weren't plugged into anything, he just let that cord dangle, which was a little over the top for me).

Sometimes I sound like I'm somebody's grandma, but when the truth is just the truth, you gotta say it.

My daughter thinks I'm old. She argued with me the other day that everyone who is 12 thinks Nicki Manaj is cool (I seriously hope this is not the case, or we are in trouble) but that adults are old and so of course they don't think Nicki Manaj is cool. (Um, okay, I am still young, FYI. Like in my thirties. And still cool. And relevant. So the fact that I don't think NM is cool should matter.) She also thinks that we are over-protective parents, because we are the ones who "always say no" when everybody else's parents say yes. (Who is everybody else, anyway? Can we take a poll on the opinions of this "everybody else" and their parents?).

She feels like this makes her stick out. And not in a good way. In a your-parents-are-like-so-over-bearing-and-uncool-and-you-are-so-unlucky kind of way.

Well, it makes me and her dad stand out, too. In a this-is-very-uncomfortable-are-we-sure-we-are-doing-this-right-and-are-we-too-strict kind of way.

This stance that we have taken isn't to make her life harder, it's to protect her. I mean, duh. These are my children I'm talking about, and it's not like we get a second chance at raising them if we screw it up the first go round. It's not like we won't make mistakes, but when it comes to a decision and everybody else has said yes!, I will still say no when it's in my child's best interest to do so. It's a hard balance, and I don't have anything down pat, but I feel like it's my responsibility to do my best to protect my kids from seeing and hearing things, from being exposed to things, that they aren't ready to see or hear or be exposed to.

Am I always successful? If only I could be. They will see and hear and be exposed to things that I never dreamed they would be. And then my second line of defense falls into play: choices, choices, choices. MAKE GOOD ONES.

But when I can, I will protect them.

I've had people tell me that this is something they should do, too. I hope they do. But sometimes it feels like we are sitting in a room full of people, and we are the only ones. And in some cases, it sucks to stand up and stand out.

But we do it anyway. Because they are so worth it.

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