The time out chair.

12 Nov

This week started out a little rough.

I was out of sorts, you could say. Perhaps it’s the time of year, or something chemical, but I have found my anxiety to be at an unusually high level.

For instance, on Monday, my husband left his phone in the car when he went up to his office. I texted him to say hi. No answer. Then I sent a “hey, you there?” type of message. No reply. And in the 30 minutes that followed, I played out every bad scenario possible in my head as to why he wasn’t answering my texts or surreptitious call made during the baby’s nap time.

I would say that I overreacted.

I can’t help it. I truly can not help it. That is the hard part.

But today was better. Today the weather was beautiful.

The baby and I had some time to kill before picking up my daughter from school and we were already out so I decided to pull over and grab an outdoor seat at a quaint cafe. I took my little beau on a date.

We sat together, in the sunshine, and I sang “If you’re happy and you know it” softly and he danced along to me and we both smiled so that we were beaming. Like the sun.


And I felt happy.

And then I saw a man at a table 20 feet away point to my son, as he said to his wife, “Look! That baby has glasses!”,

prompting her to turn around and stare at us.

The old me would not have had this.

I still consider this post about my daughter one of the most important pieces I have written.

And the thing is, my son gets pointed out wherever he goes. Up until today, we had been missing his glasses since 1pm last Thursday. (By the way, if you happen to find them, I am giving you a 10,000 cookie reward.) We were able to get new lenses put into my daughter’s old frames (they may or may not be slightly pink) and my heart sang as I saw him looking around at the world, laughing at the leaves blowing. He could see again.

But yesterday, when my son wasn’t wearing his glasses and we were eating lunch outside, we were stopped literally five times by people who were commenting on how cute he is, and, mostly, his red hair.  We have canned responses when people ask where it comes from. Just like I did when people asked me how I knew my daughter needed glasses four years ago.

So now I have the perspective that people can point out my children in a kind way that is generous of spirit.



This man literally pointed and stared and exclaimed.

And I thought of getting up and going over to him. I thought of telling him things that I am not proud of having thought.

But I sat there, in my time out chair, keeping calm, and continuing to enjoy my son’s toothy little smile.

When the couple got up to leave they came over to us.

“He’s so cute,” the man said.

“Thank you.” I smiled with my mouth closed.

“I have a ten month old grandson who also likes to pull of glasses,” he continued.

He doesn’t have glasses, but he likes to pull off mine.”

Thanks for that tidbit, sir.

But they went on to compliment my child’s looks and behavior. And sadly, I think that if my son had my brown hair and was not bespectacled that interaction never would have happened. They wouldn’t have stopped to notice his incredible crystal blue eyes, or the prominent cleft chin or his enormous (ly adorable) size. And just like I felt with my daughter, I don’t want my son to be singled out because of a physical attribute, or because he has eyes that require a high prescription lens.

But what today taught me is that I have grown.

I didn’t get fired up.

I did not get hurt.

What I did do was take a moment, a detour out of my day, to stop at a cafe and sit outside with my son for 10 minutes,

something that I would have never been able to do at this time last year.

And that is progress.

And for that, I think my time in the time out chair is up.


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