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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Things You Eventually Just Accept

Like, for instance, the fact that I will never be as likable as my mother.

I have grown up happily not caring much for what most people think about me. Sometimes, this is very freeing and good. Sometimes, this makes you (mistakenly) assume other people must not care what you think about them, either. It's kind of a compromise.
My mom has spent (in my opinion) too much time worrying about what other people think, what other people will say, and feeling all manner of false guilt if she might have offended someone. On the other hand, everyone who's ever met her also likes her.

I think my way of life is a lot easier, but not necessarily better. I have examples to prove it, too.

One week I was counseling at the east campus of KBC, an all girls gradeschool camp. Mom was the activity director. We had a particularly difficult camper who was causing a lot of trouble, and bothering camper and and counselor alike. This girl's family had been attending camps for years, and the mother (let's call her Sue) lived fairly close to campus.

I should add that parents are not frequently called in to deal with a difficult camper. It is avoided until necessary. In this case, though, Mom had to call Sue and ask her to come by. This woman was not a particularly friendly person, and when she showed up it was very plain that my mom was going to get chewed up and spit out. They disappeared into Mom's room and we, the counselors, stood around looking at each other nervously.

Over an hour went by and we could hardly imagine what was going on in there. Then, an incident required Mom's attention, and one of the counselors had to sheepishly knock on her door and ask for her. She was invited to enter, and found my mom and Sue sitting next to each other on the bunk, giggling and spitting cherry seeds into a bowl on the floor.

Later, when questioned about this phenomenon, my mom just said what she always says, "a gentle answer turns away wrath."

I still think she worries too much about what people think of her.

Then again, she seems to be doing alright.

4 comments:

Tricia said...

This was really well-written, Rachel! You are good, you know? And I'm going to be like everyone else you know and say that your mom is really likeable. I tend to be too much of a people-pleaser and it can get me into trouble. It's hard to strikethe right balance between making others happy and pleasing the only One whose opinion of us matters.

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Joy said...

Your mama is pretty wonderful, but you're not too bad yourself. ;)

tsbjf said...

Cool post! Yep, your mom is definitely a very likable person. You sound a lot like Jeremy, but I think you both are pretty cool!