Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life Lesson #762

Think about something that makes you giddy - something that makes you want to squeal in delight just thinking about it.
My little lady lives her life with that much excitement.

It's numbers, it's letters, it's the music at the beginning of any Disney Junior show, it's seeing a license plate, it's hearing the door open when her daddy comes home after being gone, it's listening to a wind chime, or playing with her cousin Sami, it's playing Candy Crush on Mommy's iPad, it's falling into a pillow at the end of the day...

Everything in Emily's world brings her as much happiness as her little body can handle and there are moments she just shakes trying to contain it all.

Last week Em and I were at the post office and while we were waiting in line Em was pointing to every number she could see.

I would ask her to find a number and she would look until she found it.
She knows when she's right because even before she points to it she grins and makes her little happy sound.
I was speaking quietly with the hope of not bothering those around me in line.

After a few minutes of our number game I heard a lady in front of me say to another lady she was standing next to, "I had more than one little child at home and I couldn't possibly have taken the time it would have taken to teach them their numbers at that age."

Her tone was defensive - almost as if she had to justify to herself and to the complete stranger she was talking to why her kids didn't know their numbers at Emily's age.
And with the same sentence I almost felt that she was lecturing me for only having one child.

I wanted to say, "I'm standing right here, do you think I can't hear you?"

I didn't say anything.
Instead I ignored her and clapped for my daughter when she pointed to the number 23.

Isn't it amazing how quick we are to judge someone else and their situation?
That lady didn't know that Em fought every single day of her life for the first year just to survive.
She didn't know that I shed tears whenever I think about my girl's next open heart surgery.
She didn't know that Google doesn't give Emily much hope for anything academic...that there are women who terminate their pregnancies because they were given the same diagnosis we were for our little girl.

If the lady had asked me I would have told her that if anything, I worry that Em spends too much time watching Little Einsteins.
If she had asked me I would have told her that Jason and I didn't do much other than just say whatever it was that Emily was pointing to - over and over again.
If she had asked me I would have told her that all I hope for is to hear the word 'Mommy' one day - even if when she does say it Emily also tells me the square root of 376458.

She didn't ask me any of those things.
Instead she made a judgement of a situation she assumed she knew about, and missed out on knowing a small part of Emily's incredible story.

World, let's try to judge less - let's try harder to be generous in our thoughts of other people.

And while I'm trying to do those things, I'm going to be trying to simply keep up with my Emily.
Tonight I bought window crayons and wrote all over my back would have thought Em had just been given Willy Wonka's last golden ticket.


Nessa said...

Wow.. what a sad reason to speak to someone that way. I would be impressed to see a baby who's that smart, not judging the mother for whatever reason. People are mean. Emily is amazing and so are you.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Noelle. I read all of our posts and enjoy hearing about your life. I often want to comment, but can't think of anything clever to say.

You probably nailed it right on the head; that woman was justifying the fact that she'd never taught her kids numbers.

People only judge on what they can see, but "in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see." Don't let what the world thinks bother you. The only people who have a say in how many kids you have or how you teach them are you, Jason and The Savior.

Personally, I think Emily and her numbers and letters obsession are super amazing. Whenever you need a babysitter, just call me. I'll be happy to come over and do numbers and letters with Emily to her little heart's content.

You three make a beautiful family and I really enjoy reading.

xo -E

Jaycie said...

Just realize that this woman was feeling inadequate because you have done something amazing with Emily. Really, you are amazing. When people see somebody accomplish something that they think is out of their ability, they feel inadequate and find ways to excuse their "failure". I love absolutely everything you do with Emily and I am always so amazed because I can only imagine how challenging life can be sometimes. I hope you hear her say "Mommy" very soon! But if that never happens, just keep in mind that you remind the rest of us every day how amazing life is and how wonderful our little ones are, and that helps us to better be the mommies that we want to be :)

Carol said...

I think that lady was a little jealous of what you have accomplished! If she was judging anyone, I think it was herself and what she didn't do with her own little ones.
The window crayons are a brilliant idea!

Carol said...

One more thing (that lady made me mad!):
What she should have done was to compliment both you & Emily. My goodness, what an achievement for a little child to recognize numbers, two digit ones at that! As a former teacher, I'm very proud of both of you!