I Won't Be The Negative Example

12:30 PM

Winter is officially here! The past few weeks here in New York the temperature has ranged in the high 40s to 50s. It has felt so much like spring that many people forgot how to dress for the cold temperatures of mid 20s that arrived unexpectantly; leaving those unwisely dressed very cold. Which I got to experience recently that really gave me an eye opening about myself and who I really want to be.

During a visit to the hospital with my bundled daughter, I overheard a group of young girls complaining about how cold it was. I looked at the barely clothed chattering teethed group of girls. One lanky girl wore a long sleeve t-shirt and ripped jeans that had more holes than material, another wore see-through spandex with a long thin flannel shirt, the third wore spandex, a see-through t-shirt and a winter hat, the last girl wore a winter hat and a long sleeved thin dress with nothing underneath and I do mean NOTHING! The mother in me kicked in and began yelling at them for their stupid choice of attire (in my head). As I listened to them, complain starting in the parking lot all the way into the building, through the lobby, and in the elevator, down the hall to a patient’s room, which was right next to whom I was visiting.

By this time, I wanted to scream at the ignoramuses. I visited with the patient I came to see and could hear them complain most of the time about how crazy cold it was outside, REALLY??? I refocused my attention the best I could until the time to leave arrived. Heading toward the elevators, I heard the group gathering behind me. I briskly walked to the elevator catching the doors just as they began closing. Yes! NOOOOOOoooooo! The man beside me decided this was the moment he needs to be nice to others as he held the doors open for the complainers.

I pasted on a smile as the elevator began descending. I jabbered with my daughter as the group started back in with the same complaints I had heard twice already. My head was screaming obscenities at the girls for having no common sense. Honestly, who in the world taught them this was a smart way to dress? Ignoring them to my stretched abilities, I exited the elevator a floor early to walk the stairs the rest of the way to my destination, weighed down with a bundled squirming toddler whom kept saying “me walk mama, me walk”. I just had to get out of the building and into some fresh air.

I push open the stairway doors to hear pleasant soft chatter from multiple small groups of people sitting around the lobby tables. Exhaling with relief…“Thank you Jesus!” I gently slide my daughter down my body to her feet so she can walk. Holding hands, we exit the hospital and turn the corner to walk right into a cloud of smoke created by the complaining teeth chatterers. Coughing I half drag half carry my allergic to cigarette smoke child out of the cloud while trying to find my inhaler. In the midst of my coughing fit, the lanky hole ridden jean girl says “ah man you sick too! It’s the cold, we are freezing out her” I lost all self-control and lashed out.

“Are you serious? It is the middle of January and all of you have more skin exposed than a swimsuit model, none of you have the commonsense to wear a freaking jacket then you deserve to freeze”. I am interrupted from saying more as another fit of coughing begins and I have to use my inhaler again. This time the girl with nothing but a thin dress on says “whaz it matta? You dressed and still sick”. Looking at my red-eyed runny-nosed toddler seeing the effects of the smoke already affecting her made me crazy angry…I seriously pictured a grizzly bear ripping the girl’s head off. I picked up my protesting daughter and replied vehemently “I have emphysema caused by being around smokers all my life and thanks to you all smoking on a smoke free campus, activated it and now my daughter has to have medication for her allergy to your smoke".

I walked away with tears streaming down my face. I was beyond infuriated. I buckled my daughter into her car seat and grabbed her diaper bag; I removed her tube of eye ointment and applied it to her tear streaming red puffy eyes. My tears ran faster down my face as I looked away from my suffering child. Then I saw what crushed my heart into a million pieces.

A dark car parked near the group of girls. Getting out of the car is a skinny woman with jeans (ripped worse than the lanky girls). The woman is wearing sandals and a thin off the shoulder t-shirt. She walks over to the girls handing the see-through t-shirt and winter hat girl a pack of cigarettes. The woman and two of the girls light another cigarette and begin complaining about the cold weather. I shake my head in disbelief and begin to cry harder. No longer are tears of frustration flowing but of sadness and disappointment.

I am now completely disappointed in my behavior towards those teeth chattering girls. I had no right to be angry with them for their “stupidity” or for having a lack of common sense. Those young girls knew nothing more than the example they were given. My heart broke for the lack of a positive example for those girls. My heart ached to hug each of those girls as I apologized for my ignorance and wrap them in the pile of baby blankets from the backseat of my car.

My trance is broken by the softly spoken “mama k?” I look down at my beautiful bundled daughter in her car seat, covered in blankets with a sippy cup in hand staring up at me with her big blue trusting eyes. Smiling at her through tears unshed, I vow always to be the positive example in my daughter’s life. “Yes, baby mama k”. I look up to find the girls and dark car have left. I get in my car and head home with a renewed sense of being.

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14 comments

  1. I say this all the time about my boys. They will see their mama as a positive example of a woman, and will grow into amazing young men that treat women with respect, and in return will be respected back #TwinklyTuesday

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  2. I don't blame you one bit. Yes, they are the victims of poor role models, but it can't hurt to have a little reality yelled their way.

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    1. Thank You! I agree however it is a harsh slap to ones pride when they see such a sad sight.

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  3. Bless you I'd have been cross too. But it does make you think about setting good examples. Xx #bigpinklink

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    1. I completely agree! Sometimes we do not realize the little things we do that our kids pick up.

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  4. I think it's a teenagers prerogative to dress inappropriately and then moan about the cold but the smoking around you was not on at all. Thanks for popping by the #bigpinklink this week.

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    1. I do agree. This post was also to show how I allowed my irritations to cloud my judgements that led to assumptions too.

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  5. So well written. As a mom I get all your pain, thanks for this reminder to set a good example! Thanks so much for linking up at #familyfriday we appreciate it! We hope you come back next week.

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  6. Thank you! Sometimes life itself gets in the way and we forget that we are being watched by little eyes.

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  7. I think to be honest I would have given in and said something much sooner than you did! Its is so important for posts like this to remind us that we need to set a good example o our children and be their amazing Momma role model! <3 #stayclassymama

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    1. I am glad you liked the post. I share honest situations that bring clarity to the type of mom I want to be.

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  8. Good point - it's always important to look at the role models and circumstances young people have had in their lives as part of whatever judgements we might make about their behaviour. #StayClassyMama

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  9. I believe in giving people chances to change my first impression because I know there have been times I would not have made the best first impression myself.

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