Today #2 got in the car to go to school. He had on one black sock and one white sock. Neither sock on his size nine feet were his. They were his father’s socks for size thirteen feet. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and counted to ten.
“Why are you wearing those socks?”
“I just grabbed two out of the sock basket.” (If you want to know about the sock basket, let me know and I will write a post on my highly technical laundry system for a family of five.)
I counted to ten again and turned up his new “Pump You Up” mix CD and rocked out to “Hound Dog.” Yep, Elvis… or “the King” as he is referred to by #2. Don’t dis the King.
According to Byron Katie‘s work there are “only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s.” (Not sure how to site that… It is in the book “Loving What Is.” I am not a writer and squeaked out of my freshman English classes.) When I get into the business of God or YOU is when I get in trouble.
When I decide that I need to control what happens to #2 because he is wearing his dad’s unmatched socks, then I am bothered. It brings up emotions that are not comfortable. I feel like he is going to be embarrassed by what other people will say. People will think he is weird. People will think he has no fashion sense. I also think that it is going to reflect on me as a mother because I didn’t teach him any better. See how I got into everyone’s business? I got into #2’s business. I got into his classmates’ businesses. I got into his classmates’ parents and teachers’ businesses even!
Katie (that is the name she goes by) would tell me to ask…
“Is that true? Will #2 be embarrassed by what other people think when they see he is wearing his dad’s unmatched socks?”
Um… do you know #2??? If he thought it would be embarrassing he wouldn’t have done it. The answer to that question is NO.
“How do you react when you believe this lie?”
I get frustrated that he is not wearing his own matching socks. It feel mad. I yell at him for not taking the time to find his own socks. It is not a good feeling.
“Is there a stress free reason that you should hold on to this thought?”
Nooooooooooo. If he isn’t bothered by it or afraid that he is going to be embarrassed or afraid people are going to think he is weird, why should I be?
“Who would you be if you let go of this thought?”
I would be a awesome mom that could jam out to “Hound Dog” with my quirky, totally lovable and loving, incredibly smart, amazing son. I could giggle that he is wearing a black knee high dress sock and low cut white one. I could be excited by him doing something that I wouldn’t do. I could be happy that he really doesn’t seem to be influenced by what other people might think about him. I would be more relaxed. I would be happy.
And it is as simple as that… if I want him to wear matching socks, then I need to hand him matching socks every day. And probably TELL him to put them on before he loses them. If I am not willing to do that, I should not be mad when he doesn’t wear matching socks. He is a person. He has thoughts of his own. He has his own priorities. It may or may not be representative of his upbringing. Even if I had insisted on matching socks when he was five, he still may take this route when getting dressed. We will never know. This is REALITY and you cannot argue with reality without encountering emotions that are uncomfortable and usually unnecessary.
I hear people saying “But it DOES bother me that he is doing that. Even after saying all that, I don’t know why, but it just does.” But here is the thing… our thoughts come seemingly from out of nowhere. We have been programmed forever, by things that have happened, to have all kinds of thoughts both true and untrue. We have the ability to decide if we BELIEVE them or not. To investigate them and see if they are true. And, when you investigate them and figure that out… FREEDOM. Freedom to enjoy who the people around you are and who you are. It truly is an amazing thing.
Now… I think I will grab the sock basket and match some while I am watching “Perception.” :D