I am in a sticky predicament.
I do NOT want to seem like a total lame-oh. And I'm the only female in the group, so I kind of have to work a little harder to keep the kick-a$$ image I am 100% assured they ALL have of me.
But...I happen to be a law abiding citizen...sometimes to what may appear to others as a fault. George Washington and the cherry tree story had a big impact on me in my elementary years. It took me a LONG time to learn that the definition of "telling a lie" is not exactly black and white, and while I've come a long way, I still maintain very high standards.
So when my friend started to suggest we hop a fence to play some baseball in a locked field...my inner panic ensued. I mean...I do NOT want to look like a sissy ninny. What's the big deal?! His reasonings were very convincing. However, beside the fact that I do NOT like breaking the law (I told you...I am kick-a$$. I did NOT say bad-a$$...they are two totally different categories of being, one of which happens to potentially lead you to jail. I am not trying to be like that.), I also have a 100% accuracy rate with ALWAYS getting caught. No matter.
Over 43 years, I have made mental note of the many people who have attempted (and often gotten away with) so much worse than I could ever even think to imagine. I have also made mental note that as soon as I begin to think about deviating on the smallest, most minute and (honestly) ridiculous "rule"...someone calls me to account.
One time, I took the kids (it was just the two girls at the time) to World's of Fun with my older sisters. The early days were tough. I had to S...T...R...E...T...C...H...that one income. I didn't have a lot in my cupboard. Eden was still nursing, so I had her covered. I scraped together a peanut butter sandwich, some cheerios and an apple and stuffed them in the bottom of my baby bag backpack, despite the full knowledge that WOF had a "no food" policy.
I had the baby in the stroller. My exhausting toddler in tow. And I wore my backpack on my back. (After YEARS of retrospect, I believe this was my biggest mistake.) I must have been an easy target for the arrogant - and likely lazy - young "security guard." I watched as both of my sisters walked through, without trouble, each with a train of kids and their back packs full of food.
I, however, with my baby in her stroller, and my extremely excited toddler, must definitely have appeared as a threat to the park. He insisted on searching my bag, and then refused my entry because of my contraband.
I feel a range of emotions, as I reflect on this horrible experience. I have to admit...even after years of good experiences at the park, I still have a NASTY taste in my mouth about the entire venue. It made me mad. I am still angry and bitter at that unidentified jerk. It humiliated me...my own, personal Scarlet Letter, albeit minor, in comparison. It felt just as shaming to me. Also...I made a scene...and kind of rightly so, because it was truly ridiculous...and probably a less insecure person would have appealed to a manager that my toddler needed pb and cheerios, which were a lot healthier than the nasty park fast food. Alas, I was a recovering rule follower - insecure and always terrified I was doing something wrong - and now, at still a young age, I had "mom guilt" to add to my burgeoning self-doubt.
Fortunately, I have largely overcome all of this unnecessary diffidence. I am human. Nothing more. Nothing less. Imperfect made perfect in my weakness, because I do NOT rely on me anymore. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., a true hero and role model, "Free at last. Free at last. Thank God, Almighty, (I) am free at last."
That said...I still maintain certain dignities. If I feel it is wrong, I do not partake. That keeps me free from the fear of guilt and (potential) subsequent repercussions.
So...when my friend said, "You ever hop a fence."
I felt comfortable (barring innocent childhood ventures) saying, "No. I'm not hopping the fence today. I will sit out here and watch."
And I moped on the bench. I had no problem at all watching them play on the field in question. It's like Paul spoke in ancient times. We are free to eat whatever we want. If it doesn't feel sinful to you, by all means, partake. But woe to the person who eats or partakes, willingly, in what they personally feel is sinful.
It didn't bother any of those men or boys to be playing on a locked field. Maybe what got me was that it was a softball field, and integrity required me to pay respect to my successors. (I mean, would they have felt so confident breaking into the baseball field??? Based on a few comments I registered...likely not.). But it felt ENTIRELY wrong for ME to step foot. So, I held my tongue and endured. And honestly, I considered leaving and asking my friend to bring my kid home. Something in me said no.
I fidgeted. I texted Matt. He worried. I assured him I would make it.
And it turns out, it was a good thing I stayed. Someone had to help with the foul balls and such, right? Well...fortunately for me, my friend's kid happens to be a power hitter. So, naturally, he hit one out on the shorter softball field. I used my special stalking gifts to track that ball past the center field fence.
And, also...on the way...I found a COMPLETELY unlocked and wide open gate. So...do you think I felt bad about going onto a field through an open gate?!!! (It may have gotten me on a technicality earlier on in my life, but these days...nope. Not at all!)
So...Kristen got to play ball. And, if you know me at all, you know that made for a good week.
And also...I got to hang out with another mom friend...and when I told my kid, "because that's what I do," he laughed and said, "You NEVER do that." So that should tell you how rare it is that I get out. And you should probably feel sorry for me, but also think I'm really awesome at the same time. Because...isn't that what we all want? 😂😂😂💁👸
Over and out. Sayonara. Whatever it is you people say these days. 😂 Goodnight, and...