I caught my reflection in a mirror last night. I had a tiny little crochet hook behind my ear, my hair was styled, I was still wearing black from the drama class. I was moving around during a break from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart when I saw me, and I had to smile. I have been a stay-at-home mom for 9 years, and the last baby is big enough now that I'm starting to look around me, and I'm realizing, "I am so uninformed." Politics? What the hey is going on? Oh, a lot of people hate America? The last time I checked in, we were loved. I read on-line business articles now, I try to catch the news when there are no small people around to scar with it, and yet, here I walk with a tiny little crochet needle behind my ear. I like the dichotomy of me. There are so many ways to dismiss people that we run into. First impressions give us a gut reaction, that we have to change once we actually start communicating. You may meet someone on the street who is overweight, slovenly, unkempt (please say hi to me). Forced to stand next to them, you make chitchat and realize they're nice people, with stress about the mortgage, or they're looking for an errant kid, or maybe they're embittered, opinionated haters. Either way, you now know something you didn't know a few minutes before about them. In the reverse, if I were to have dinner with Angelina Jolie some night, I would hope that I could leave my preconceptions at the door, also. Even though I've loved her acting since before she was famous, and I love the work she does for charity, and she has a husband that I believe would be hard to hold onto, I know that she wouldn't want me to come to the dinner with all of those opinions. I would try to shut them off and concentrate on talking to the real person sitting across from me.
So if you see someone like me, in her husband's sweatshirt, hair pulled back in a wrap, struggling with a kid screaming, "I don't want to!", please keep in mind I've probably had a bad day, and my kid has likely decided the car seat is for babies and she isn't going into it. But if you think, "Oh, my gosh, get that kid under control," don't worry. I won't judge you. I've done it myself. I am a work-in-progress, a lady teaching young kids about confidence, trying to figure out how badly we as Americans have offended the world, with a crochet hook behind my ear. It's there to help me pick up the stitches that I drop, which are many. But I'm working on it.