Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dangerous Book for Moms: Chapter 2

I was at Walmart last night with my kids and husband.  Steve took Guy to get his hair cut so he would look nice for his preschool Easter program the next day.  I took the two girls (ages 2 and 3) with me to look for a baby shower gift for my friend.


As soon as I walked into the baby/children's department, I suddenly became aware of some "upset words" coming from the diaper aisle.  The man was speaking in Spanish, but I could tell that he was not using kid-friendly words, mostly from his extremely harsh tone.  Then he started spewing forth such phrases as "f-ing S!" in English, and showed no sign of stopping.  And that was it for me.


I left my girls in the cart looking at some hair bows where I could see them, and walked back to investigate.  I wondered if this man was yelling at a woman, and if she was perhaps in trouble or if he was on the phone or what.  He caught a glimpse of me, and I of him, as soon as I rounded the corner.  He was on the phone.  And he was irate.  


In that split second, I had a choice to make.  Walk away or follow through with my plan to ask him to pipe down.  He paused his conversation, keeping his cell phone glued to his ear and glared at me.  I planted my feet, squared my shoulders, and looked straight back into his eyes.  I knew that he had a cart with a child in it, but I didn't dare look away.


I said as respectfully as possible, "Can you keep it down?" as I motioned with my hands to clarify my message.  He was livid when I happened upon him.  Now he was just plain ready to go ballistic.  I could tell that he was not a person accustomed to acting rationally.  I could also guess from his reaction that he is probably not a person who can tolerate a woman "telling him what to do."


With about as much venom as I have ever heard, he sneered back at me, "And YOU are????"  There were definitely violent undertones in his reply.  He was trying to intimidate me.


I responded, again, as evenly as possible, "My girls are right over there.  We can hear every word you are saying.  My little girls don't need to hear the F-word."  His face, at this point of the conversation, was contorting at a rapid pace and starting to turn colors.  So I wrapped things up.  Pleading, I said, "You are standing in a children's department!  Just, please...keep it down."  From the gaping position that his mouth took, I am guessing that this was certainly an audacious display, the likes of which he had never been exposed to.


I turned around and walked back to my children who were blissfully unaware that Mommy almost became a victim of "domestic-violence" in the children's section of Walmart...all to protect their little ears from excessive obscenities.


A couple, who I found standing by my cart when I returned to my children, gave me a "yeah, that's right," nod of approval, but that man's question still echoed in my ears:  


"And YOU are?"


"And YOU are?"


"And YOU ARE???"


The answer that came was:  A Mother.


Plain and simple.


I AM A MOTHER.  


What makes otherwise logical, believers in free-speech, and appreciators-of-the-use-of-all-of my-limbs-type women walk into the jaws of danger to protect the delicate minds and hearts of our young ones?  It is MOTHERHOOD...that calling that never sleeps.  That job that is so common, yet so unique.  So valuable, yet to pay us to perform our duties would be an insult.    It is the shift-work that is always on-call and never takes a vacation.  It is my chosen profession.


I might not have been wearing a blue Walmart vest that day, but my authority to protect the virtue of my children comes from a much higher power.  I only hope that my instincts to shield my children from exposure to inappropriate and harmful influences will ALWAYS remain this sharp and undeniable.


Coincidentally...or not...This is the song that my son and daughter sang in their Easter Program today.  Sung roughly to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It."
Here are the lyrics:

Be careful little eyes what you see.
Be careful little eyes what you see.
For the Father up above,
He is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes what you see.

(The other verses are the same, but referencing a different body part.)

Be careful little ears what you hear.

Be careful little mouth what you say.

Be careful little hands what you do.

Be careful little feet where you go.

I will always remember this song that they sang with their preschool today.  I know that if they are careful with their eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and feet, they will be very happy in life, and Heavenly Father will be happy with them too.

Here is a video of Guy and Scarlett performing "Be Careful Little Eyes"
with their preschool today.


PS - I just had to make this Chapter 2 of my Dangerous Book for Moms, because sometimes standing up for what's right can be risky business!!  
But Dangerous Moms know when it's time to take care of business!  Disclaimer:  You don't have to put yourself in danger to be a dangerous Mom...Just by teaching your children this song, you'll be doing something rather dangerous...empowering the future generation to turn away from evil!

35 comments:

  1. thanks for your comment. i love your blog and am going to use the 12 days of easter this year. thanks. you are great!

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  2. Guy is one good looking guy. And is that Miss Scarlett True standing next to him?

    I'm not as quick on my feet with my words and have wished that I could have said something in certain circumstances. I have it all prepared after the conversation. Why not in? Grrr....

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  3. High Five Sista friend!:)

    Love Love Love what you did.

    You are my hero.

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  4. Amazing! I've been in situations just like this and have said nothing! You are truly brave! Thanks for sharing your story!

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  5. I love that you did exactly what was needed! Sometimes, the hardest thing we are ever called upon to do, is the right thing to do!

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  6. Kudos to you.

    Sometimes it really is dangerous to stand up for what you know is right.

    Love that you shared it too...so we can all gather that inspiration from it.

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  7. Applause, applause. Well done and well said. I have always believed that as a woman and then as I became a mother that we need to protect ALL children, not just our own. Woo Hoo for strong women!!

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  8. I love this post. A mother. That's exactly right. And mothers stand against any evil that might be injurious to children...not just their children, but everyone's children.

    I do love what you did, Jocelyn!

    =)

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  9. Jocelyn, I am a lurker on your blog.... I think I came across it because of some cute, poignant craft or something. I just wanted to come out of the wood work and tell you, "Thank you."
    Thank you, for sharing this experience.
    Thank you, for having the courage to experience it.
    Thank you, for saying, "I might not have been wearing a blue Walmart vest that day, but my authority to protect the virtue of my children comes from a much higher power."
    Powerful.
    Thank you.

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  10. Wonderful! So good for you!

    I love that song. It's on the Wee Sing Bible songs CD (I *think* it's that one) that we have and love.

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  11. I sincerely hope I have the courage to do the same in situations like that. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  12. That. is. awesome! I had sort of a similar situation a couple years ago at a park, just over how children were cooperatively playing! I couldn't believe it. If I can find it, I'll have to e-mail it to you!

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  13. Good for you Jocelyn . You are a mother and have every right to protect your children, from anything.
    Thanks for posting the video of the kids I miss the kids from church Sooo Much so am grateful for letting me watch them at their concert.

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  14. You are AWESOME!!! And what a cute song, too. My little guy is sitting here with me and now that it's over he keeps saying more!

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  15. Oh, and I love the little girl in the back who has her arms in her shirt the whole time. I love kids programs :)

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  16. p.s. Have you ever heard that song "Slow Fade"? It incorporates this children's song.

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  17. go get them tiger mother...protecting children is what it's all about.

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  18. oh yeah...that's the ticket...so proud of my friend.

    I love her ladybug dress...too cute Mom.

    PS...thank you for my Easter bookmark...I love it.

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  19. Yeah! Motherhood is a badge of honor that we share -- that badge that gives us the courage to defend our children when we would be afraid to speak up ourselves. Thanks for the encouragement you've given all of us!

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  20. Good for you! Julie Beck once said that as mothers we have an obligation to make sure ANY place our children are at is a haven - your example shows that her statement even applies to the local WalMart. Thank you!

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  21. I'm so glad you said something. It's hard to stick up for what's right sometimes, but he needed to hear that.

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  22. LOVE THIS! you go! :) more mothers need to stand up for what is right.

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  23. I just happened upon your blog, but I just wanted to say that I am so grateful there are people who will stand for the right in this world. I love being a 'Dangerous Mom' and protecting my kids -- way to go!!

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  24. I am so glad you did what you did and didn't back down! If more people did that, less people would stand around cussing their brains out in the children's dept thinking they are going to get away with it. Right on.

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  25. Yeah, that guy was definitely going for some kind of record! :)

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  26. Wow! This post is awesome and PERFECT for your Dangerous book for Moms!!!!!

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  27. PS My kids wanted to watch your kids sing the Easter Program over and over. Now they know the song, lol ;)

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  28. As I thought about your brave stand, I thought about how great it is to have kids, by just being there they help us to do the right thing. If I was in your same situation with my kids I hope that I would stand up for them as well, however I wonder how I would react to the same situation if the kids were at home with Dad. Would I still stand up for my values or would I just go to another area of the store?

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  29. As I thought about your brave stand, I thought about how great it is to have kids, by just being there they help us to do the right thing. If I was in your same situation with my kids I hope that I would stand up for them as well, however I wonder how I would react to the same situation if the kids were at home with Dad. Would I still stand up for my values or would I just go to another area of the store?

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