I've been thinking about how kind words and gestures can help someone when things are difficult. When I was pregnant with my twins, I was in my early twenties. I had no idea what to expect with twins and I needed support and guidance. I had left college, lost friends, and I had to rethink my entire life. I felt so isolated. Kind words would have meant so much to me and my husband at the time. Even my father, who was excited about his impending grandchildren, shared this news with people at grocery stores or wherever we were. Usually people were nice about it, but once at Barnes and Noble, an employee was so rude, saying how sad it was that I was so young and having children. My father and I said nothing as we left the store.
Instead, people were rude or insensitive, and they treated me like I had done something shameful. Even now, after my twins and baby G are older, I still receive hurtful comments. One time, in the spring of this year, an older couple were walking by and said hello to my kids. They then exclaimed that I looked so young and asked my age. I was flustered so I told them, which I shouldn't have, and they sighed in sorrow. Their faces were full of sadness, as though my being a parent in my twenties tainted my children.
I used to believe people were good, for the most part. After having my children, I've realized that is not the case. I'm disappointed in people. I'm disappointed that when someone chooses to give birth to children, thus giving them life, people can be so cruel and unfeeling. I'm disappointed that people who should be more supportive, such as family or friends, can turn their backs on people like me and my husband. I remember going to a baby shower a family friend held for me when I was pregnant with the twins. I had no friends there, it was just their group of friends. Right next to me, my mother and a guest of the party started discussing my father very rudely. I stood up for him and called them out on it. Both ignored me completely. This was supposed to be my baby shower. I remember signing up for the local chapter of the Multiples Club when the twins were little babies and no one contacted me at all, which they were supposed to do as stated in the Club Information. My father, my husband, and I were all completely exhausted from taking care of the infant twins and some help, any form of help, would have meant the world to us.
This holiday season, I urge you, my dear readers and everyone else, to think about what you say to others. Think about your words; are my words potentially hurtful? Making a person feel ashamed for doing something good or even something different is wrong. I'm a mother, even if I'm in my twenties. I'm an adult. My children are fed, clothed, clean, warm, happy, and full of energy and zest for life. No one has any right to be rude to me or to any other parents, be they young parents or older parents. We are all in this together and we are raising the next generation of people to take care of our world and our society. There are people in our lives who have showered my kids with love and give me a big hug when they see me. There are people who care about me and my family, so please don't think everyone in our lives has been awful or disappointing. I've been wanting to write this post for a long time to stress the importance of kind words and gestures. A neighbor holding the door open for me when I'd have trouble navigating the large double stroller helped so much.
How can we, as a society, learn to love one another more? How can we hep our children grow up with examples of kindness and generosity? I think a kind word to someone, be they stranger or friend, is a step in the right direction.