Judgement Day –

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you. You need to rid yourself of some self-defeating trait or habit or an out-dated hairstyle and the universe or god or your best friend(s) tells you that you should stop insert your annoying, self-defeating, destructive pattern here.

When it is a friend or friends that intervene it is fairly easy to decipher the message. Especially if two of them within 3 weeks of each other say, “Kari, you worry too much about what other people think of you.” Well, it sort of bites when you first hear anything negative about yourself, right? But, if they are good friends they tell you in a loving way because they love you.  I think if you’re smart you just own up to it. No, big whoop. The two friends were Phone Guy and the Little Buddha and it was several years ago. Can you imagine how bad I was then in this particular area? I don’t think the end goal is complete elimination of the trait. Obviously, I don’t think that.

Now if the intervention is by god or the universe it can be more difficult to recognize primarily, because neither of these entities talk directly to you – unless you are Oral Roberts or Joan of Arc.  Therefore it took me months before I realized the judgey judgers I seem to run in to were my sign to stop being a judgey judger myself!

I guess I had some inkling that it was really about me but it hit home this week it really has to do with me. I ran into someone I hadn’t seen for years. It was also someone I had judged for years and in the course of the conversation I realized this person had judgments about me! How is that possible? How could they judge me when I am so great and they are so lame? My perceptions about them are so valid and theirs about me are just so small, petty and dumb.

On the third re-telling of the story to friends who probably already figured this about me I had my Oprah Aha! Moment. I’m a judger. I mean I knew that but not to this extent. My judgments are like poison.

So, I want to have fewer judgments about others and myself. For the most part we are all just trying to figure this thing – life – out in our own way.

Final thoughts:

A few weeks ago T. and I went to the beach with some friends. It was one of those amazing 80 degree October days that you won’t see again –in Maine at least – for another 7 months. I was encouraging Thorin to walk a little farther into the ocean – up to where our friends were standing. Encouraging like this, “Hey, it’s safe. Let’s walk a little farther.” And, this dad who was standing next to us – who you think might be cool because he had these pork chop sideburns – leaned in towards Thorin and said, “You don’t have to do that. You should do what you feel is right. No pressures.”

What’s up with that? I wasn’t yelling at Thorin. I was talking in my sweet, Mommy voice even. Our friends were about 3 feet ahead of us, which would have put the water at Thorin’s waist. I wasn’t asking him to swim the English Channel for Pete Sakes! Oh, this annoyingly hip Budinski Daddy really burned me up. His remarks so made me want to do what would have felt right for me that minute. Stupid-Facial-Hair-Guy.

Those thoughts were of course then, now I think how much effort it took god to put that guy next to me at the beach so I could see myself in him. Now, I get it. I was the judger of this person who I now simply view as deranged. Because only a deranged man would take on a mother.

I talked to an old friend this week. We hadn’t talked for maybe as many as twenty years. She has two sons – both of whom have autism. In discussing the merits of one son she said, “I know he will never make fun of anyone.” I really liked that. I wondered if that might be a for sure thing about Thorin as well. He doesn’t have it in him.  He is better than me.

This entry was posted in Advocacy, By Notatypicalmom, Down syndrome, Inclusion, Parenting, Random life, Rants by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: kariwagnerpeck.com Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NotAlwaysHappyLive/ Email: kariwagnerpeck@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Judgement Day –

  1. I always seem to get a little lump in my throat when I read your posts. Also, I like that that guy told Thorin that he should do what feels right. That seems good. The guy might be a Bozo for messing with Mama, but his message, I think, was spot on.

    • Thanks for all the comments. Ok, but due to this last comment I have to tell you “The rest of the story”: The Bozo then said to Thorin “Look at -insert his son’s name here- he is jumping the waves. You do it too!” But, Thorin didn’t want to so he said, “Hey, buddy, I know you can! Do it!”.

  2. I love how you put “annoyingly hip budinski daddy” and “stupid facial hair guy”…that gives me such a visual of what he was like. Even though his message makes sense, it’s not his kid so he should have been a budoutski. He can use those messages with his own kids. (And see how “do what feels right” works out when his kids are teenagers!) Boundaries, people, boundaries!

    • And – the other thing is it should be OK to encourage (not pressure) your kids to do new things. If we didn’t they would still drink out of baby bottles, crawl and crap in their pants when they are 18.

  3. Also love your message about judging. Judging others, judging ourselves, people judging us…it’s all the same, isn’t it? I’ve been trying to be more aware of my tendency to judge and try to remind myself that we’re all just doing the best we can (for the most part) in any given moment. Not to let anyone off the hook, but just to have a little more compassion for myself and other people. Working on it!

    • Yea, I’m working on it too. But, how to balance it with righteous indignation and just plain “don’t tread on me”. As my brother Dan Gillotte says: Gratitude is good, so is sometimes telling-people-to-f-off-it-ude. (edit mine)

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