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At the Risk of Sounding Curmudgeonly

Posted May 22 2012 12:00am

I think that many adults are missing a valuable skill - and in missing this skill, they (obviously) cannot pass it on to their children -

They do not know how to sit still and be quiet

A skill that I'm working REALLY hard on teaching my kids - with varying levels of success.

For example, I was extra proud of my two youngest girls tonight. We went to a band concert. It was one hour long. They wanted to sit in the front row so that they could see. There were only two seats, and I sat five rows behind them in the next open seats. They sat TOTALLY STILL the entire hour. They were amazeballs good.

But there were kids much older than they are - as well as adults, who were bouncing around, chatting and playing and ignoring the concert - and those kids worked so, so hard to be able to play well. They deserved to be heard. I'm no angel, but my mama taught me to be quiet.

I learned at a young age that if you aren't enjoying something - well, that's what you have an imagination for - start thinking. But keep your mouth stapled shut.

So. Now you know my secret. I'm a big grinch. But this is not my first time around the rodeo and I really feel strongly that this skill is missing in a large part of today's society. And the people around you suffer for the lack of it.

Now, I am not speaking to giving your kid your phone, iPad, what have you - we do that sometimes. But often, we don't. Because what if you don't have it? Or the battery runs down - or, you know, you are at a school show and you are bored? Or you have a boss who drones on and on and on - will you whip out your phone and play Temple Run?

And, I know - it gets late in the evening and people get tired and kids have spectrum stuff and everyone has places to go and things to do - but when my spectrum kiddo get whipped out of shape she gets whipped out of the place where she's freaking out - I don't expect everyone else to listen to her have a meltdown. She needs to learn, though, that it's not appropriate and just because she has struggles that other people don't have doesn't mean that their tolerance needs to become a blind eye towards letting other people enjoy their evening. I've missed an awful lot of church/movies/performances/talks/parties because my kid just won't settle - and it's my job and my duty to take care of her and respect the other people around me.

Did I ever tell you about the time that my kids were loud and obnoxious in Mass - and I made them sit through a second Mass? They sit quietly now.

And not every kid that runs around like a fool has a spectrum diagnosis.

Whatever happened to just being still and listening?

And, yeah, I'm grumpy and I'm tired. But I can see why people don't want kids around, don't invite kids to places and flat out don't enjoy kids.

<end rant>

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