Today, we went downtown for Mayfair, a city wide yard sale and get-out-of-your-house-because-its-nice event. It was truly a gorgeous day, especially appreciated after so many snowy and rainy months we’ve had to spend inside. I was delighted to get out of the house with my little family and prance them around town in search of fun things to do.
There were two problems: 1. Justin was sick and 2. Harrison was a jerk. There’s pretty much nothing worse than a sick man-husband, but I won’t dwell on that now, primarily because he reads everything I write. Couple that with a cranky kid, and my fantasies of outdoor bliss just simply flew out the metaphorical window.
So there we were in the middle of downtown, with the rest of our city’s population milling about and Justin informs Harrison that they must hold hands to cross the street. Oh. My. Word. You would have thought Justin asked H to rip off his hand and throw it in the river. So Harrison starts flailing about and screaming as only toddlers do. His degree of irrationality simply amazes me because I, I am extremely irrational, and he makes me look like a wet noodle.
He’s acting the way I might act if you told me champagne was discontinued, or if yoga pants went out of style. I would be completely irate. But this was NO BIG DEAL. We hold hands every time we cross the street. I am positive Harrison was playing on Justin’s sick-man short temper, thinking he could manipulate the situation to meet his own desires. An absolute breakdown occurred on Front Street, and there was nothing we could do to stop it. So, we quietly let him work out his anger with shouts and whines and wiggles of discontent. Then the looks come. Then the stares. Could he be getting abducted? Is he in danger?, they think. Should we intervene?
But, all of a sudden, the light of knowledge flickered in the onlookers’ eyes. Oh. He’s angry. He’s a toddler. There is nothing we can do. To those people who averted their eyes, thank you. To those people who gave sympathetic glances, I am so happy to know I’m not the only one with an irrational offspring. To the few condescending, holier-than-thou individuals who looked at my sweet sweet family with disgust, I’m not fooled. Your skeletons are still inside your closet. But my perfect imperfections are strolling along beside me in their double jogging stroller because I’m proud of them. I’m proud my sick husband endured illness to spend the day with his family. I’m proud my son is expressing himself. I’m proud I didn’t disappoint myself by spending the day inside at home despite a few challenges. My husband is going to feel better. My kid is going to learn to express his emotions appropriately, But you, you’re going to go home and be disappointed in yourself way more than you were with my family’s behavior. Stop judging and start loving, my neighbors.