At the Pacific Tattoo on Sunday afternoon my three-and-a-half-year-old son was asking me questions about what he was seeing and hearing.
After a slew of dirty looks, a woman in front of us turned around and requested that I get my son to stop talking because it was bothering her. My reply was that such a request of a young boy at a family event was completely absurd. The woman’s daughter told me it was my job as a parent to stop him from talking.
The insightful granddaughter asked her mother to stop and later apologized for her grandmother’s behaviour.
To be clear, my son was not yelling, kicking the seats or causing a ruckus. He was politely sitting on my lap occasionally curious about the amazing things he was seeing and hearing and wanted to share that joy with his loving parent.
My son did not choose to be here and I see parenting as a privilege versus a job. My son’s language skills are highly developed. He knows the importance and value of curiosity. He is listened to with all my attention and feels valued, loved and respected. He knows already that his words, thoughts and opinions matter to me.
Despite the granddaughter’s best efforts to redirect her grandmother, she came at us again during intermission to tell us to “move to some other seats and go bother someone else for the next half of the show.”
I suggested it was she harassing us and others who had paid to enjoy this family event as equally as she had. She demanded what kind of lessons I was teaching my son.
When she eventually left us alone my son said, “Mommy, what was that conversation about?” Well son, this life lesson is we sometimes encounter people who are not filled with innocent curiosity, life, love and happiness as you are.
For whatever reason they have lost their smile and are perhaps not aware of how to retrieve it and don’t always enjoy special moments of life. This head space does not enable them to appreciate the joy in others. So my son, you are lovingly seen and heard but apparently misery still loves company.