It’s been forever and a day… I know, I know, I owe you all a birth story, name story and two birthday letters. But before we get to the fun stuff, lets also rejoice in the fact that our city just lifted its muzzle mandate. Whoops—did I just say muzzle? I meant, mask!
The new order ideal of “build back better” is erected on the crumbling foundation of tolerance and pseudo-kindness. This is the same foundation that other people think is strong enough to justify their demanding questions and passive aggressive comments about basically anything. Now, I honestly don’t have the gumption to make this political, but I write in hope that others may have a similar thought; as we emerge from COVID-land, we have lost something that I have argued has been lost for years—manners.
Early on in the international crisis (maybe not a medical one, but a crisis nonetheless), Liam made the informed decision that our children would not be wearing masks, nor going anywhere that requires them too. Thankfully the birth center and our family MD felt the same way. What I did not expect, was the number of comments I would get in regards to not masking my children ages five and under and simply doing grocery pick up and finding new, outdoor activities to do (I’m not the type to cause a scene in a museum or indoor playplace). Our church never issued a mandate so we were extremely fortunate in that regard. It is fascinating the number of folks who suddenly care about your family or health once you do something a little out of the norm…
So I don’t mean to draw this out, just a little hello and accountability for myself to write here a bit more. But before I leave, let’s consider that no one routinely talked about health so much before COVID. In fact, I’ve been called crazy and too-sensitive by folks when taking no-brainer precautions for Brennan’s health as he was, and still is, considered medically fragile.
Are you ready to answer the following “health” questions?
“Have you helped your child with his addiction issue yet?”
“Do you know if a sex offender is teaching or bus driving in your public school district?”
“Are you loosing that weight yet?”
“Do you know the mental, physical, and emotional statistics of your child coming from a broken family?”
“Are you still seeing a therapist?”
“Oh maybe you should put that drink down…?”
Tone would usually account for the sincerity of those questions, something we unfortunately lose over a text conversation. But tone aside, those topics are not usually appropriate in polite society. Topics surrounding health, it is widely implied that you take the best care of you. I suppose this runs over to parents knowing and doing what’s best for their children (which is why moms throw a fit if you question their decision to work, place in daycare, use screentime, send to school (or not), to medicate (or not) their own kid). Have we lost all sense of decorum when it comes to socializing with our family and friends? I trust that God gave you the right to parent your own kids. We reserve the right to parent ours.
Challenge—next time someone asks an inappropriate question, lovingly call them on it. It can be as easy as “That’s not an appropriate question. I’m not going to answer that—I’m sorry” or “let’s talk about something more appropriate— (insert topic change here)” I often get flustered when I get classless questions or comments, that I think it will be helpful to have a few phrases to fall back on!
Let’s bring back polite society.