I have always been aware that people are watching me, watching me to see if I will stumble and do something un-Christian. I have been sensitive to the fact all through my Christian life that my family (who are non-believers) and those people that I come into contact with on a regular basis are all looking at me, waiting to see if I will do something that goes against ‘the code of behavior’ for a Christian. I didn’t know what they would do with that little tidbit when they came upon it, whether they would just use it to breathe easier now that they knew I was human like them or if they would pounce on it with unbridled arrogance that the ‘good little Christian girl isn’t so good after all.’
As I said, I have always known that I was being watched but it was made crystal clear to me about 7 years ago when I stepped into the post office to purchase paper to ship Christmas presents. I had left it to the last minute and, as a result, they were all gone. I uttered my dismay with a ‘darn.’ The lady at the post office was standing at the counter and said, “Oh, I have been waiting all these years to here you swear. Here I was hoping today would be the day. Too bad.”
I have to say I was shocked by her words. She has been waiting for me to swear? Why? Doesn’t she have anything better to do? Is everyone in this town watching and waiting for me to mess up? I have since come to the conclusion that they have been.
Lately, it has been made known to me that these people are not just waiting for me to mess up as a Christian but they are also salivating for me to mess up as a homeschooling parent. Again, this was made clear to me in the post office. (What is it about that blasted post office? It must be a hotbed of gossip for small towns. I can only imagine what they are saying about me in the bar.)
I went into the post office this week to pick up a parcel from Amazon. I was in a grand mood; the sun was shining, it was warm and I was picking up books. All was well with the world. I was talking to the post office lady (this was a different person than the one in the above story) about doing things outside the box. I should have known where this conversation was going when she started it. She then proceeded to tell me that she defends me to all of those people who think that I am making a mistake by homeschooling my children. I am taken aback by this because I didn’t know there were ‘all those people.’ She goes on to say that she tells them that she is pretty sure I am teaching them something because I buy books from Amazon (I didn’t tell her those books were for me) and she was also sure that my kids could talk and carry on a conversation.
I don’t know who I was more upset with: ‘all those people’ or the post office lady for telling me all of this.
I have been thinking about this all week. If people have always been gossiping, stewing about me homeschooling my kids, I have not been aware of it until this year. There have been a few instances this past year that have shown me that people are being nosy about my family’s affairs. People have told me that they are relieved that my kids go on sleepovers so at least they are getting some socialization. I have been dumbfounded by the audacity and rudeness of these people. I wondered why now? What has changed all of a sudden? The reason comes in two words: high school. These interfering people didn’t think I could mess up my kids too badly in elementary school so they kept their thoughts to themselves but now that they are in high school, well, there is too much for me to botch up. With all that is at stake, they probably feel they have to say something. Yay for me!
It is one thing to know that people have you under a microscope to see if you are going to drink or swear but it’s a whole ‘nother ball park to know that not only are you being watched but so are your children. They are being studied to see if they can communicate and act like a normal child. That hurts my heart so much. It’s one thing for me to be slammed and gossiped about but it’s another thing when it is my children who are being treated in this way.
Why can’t people just mind their own business? Seeing that their human, I am fairly certain that they have some problem or dilemma that needs their attention, why do they feel that they need to help me with mine (when I don’t even consider this a problem?)
Herein concludes my rant for the month of April.