‘What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.’ I love this quote – I can’t remember who said but I try and live by it.
My son had a school disco in Year 1. He was excited about it because he loved to dance but also because he could hang with this friends after school. I said I was coming to help as a parent volunteer and I hoped he was ok with that. He said yes that was good and would I dance with him too? I said of course if he wanted me to dance with him, I would. (Maybe he would forget!)
I arrived to the disco late due to traffic and didn’t need to worry about finding my son. He found me seconds after I arrived flinging himself on me much to my surprise with a big hug and ‘Momma!’. He dragged me toward the dance floor that was quite bright – not quite dark enough to blend in and shuffle around inconspicuously. All the other parents lingered on the sidelines watching their children jump and groove to the latest Justin Bieber song. I had a quick panic attack that I would look like a super tall dork towering over all the kids but I set this anxiety aside as I saw how excited he was to dance with me. I’d love to say I let go, pulled out all my best moves and didn’t feel all the parents staring at me, but that’s not quite true! We held hands and danced together and lots of his little friends joined us. We all laughed and I tried to focus on being in the moment and that being out of my comfort zone was healthy for me! Apparently we’re supposed to do something every day that scares us! My son and I had a magical time and his smile fed my lack of confidence and I knew we were creating a memory. I knew my son knew he could count on me, even for a small thing like showing up to be his dance partner when he asked!
The next week at school, with the disco a dim memory, I saw a mum I knew who told me that she had seen me dancing with my son and she thought it was the coolest thing ever. She said she would never have the confidence to do that with her daughter and thought it was so special.
Well, didn’t she make my day! She didn’t know how self-conscious I had been and she helped me reinforce to myself that you never know what people are thinking. Sometimes it’s the good things and not always the bad things!
As I get older I care less what people think which is very empowering. Everyone should care less about what others think too… our world would be so much fuller of love and acceptance…
What did you do today that scared you?