And now, that snap judgment has come back to haunt me.
I don't even know why I remember that particular moment so well. Surely I've made other snap judgments through the years. But for some reason, I remember that judgement--I remember exactly where I was standing, and what I was thinking on that day 11 years ago...
Our family was staying with some friends in their lovely home. Our Rebecca was having a wonderful time toddling around after all the older kids. She especially was following around their daughter, a sweet 7-year-old, who seemed practically grown to the adoring 2-year-old. Rebecca was in heaven, playing with the older girl's American Girl dolls and extensive Barbie collection. The two of them danced around the house in princess and fairy costumes, and had tea parties with a miniature set of china.
When the parents started getting dinner ready, the girls were winding down their playing. The 7-year-old went into her parents' room and turned on the television to the Disney channel. Of course, Rebecca followed her friend, and scooted right next to her in front of the t.v. As I passed by the room, I saw the older girl explaining all about how Hannah Montana wears a wig and is a huge rock star. I'm not even sure Rebecca understood what was going on--she was just thrilled to be watching "what the big girls watch."
In my head, I was saying rather loudly, "NO NO NO NOOOO!!!! My baby girl's too young for thissss!!!"
But, in my big girl adult voice, I quietly leaned down, took Rebecca by the hand, and asked her friend, "Sweetie, does your mom let you watch this teenager show?"
Not taking her eyes off Hannah Montana, she said, "Oh sure! I watch ALL the Disney shows! I really love the Cheetah Girls--they're on next! They are SO awesome!"
I quietly walked Rebecca out of the room, telling her, "Sweet girl, we don't watch teenager shows! Those kind of shows are for TEENAGERS."
I remember saying those words to Rebecca. I even remember how the television flickered onto the girls' faces in the darkened master bedroom. I remember the happy way the friend had bubbled on about the Cheetah Girls.
And I remember judging that other mama.
Why in the world would she let her little 7-year-old daughter watch a show ABOUT teenagers MADE FOR teenagers?
For a long time, I stuck to that rule. Even now, it certainly makes good sense to me: Children should watch shows about children their own age--and not shows about kids older than them.
Well, and then my little 2-year-old daughter became a 12-year-old preteen, about to enter junior high and the youth group at church. And she now has a 7-year-old little sister who wants to do all the big girl stuff right alongside her sister.
And...well...life happens. Life happens, and perfection isn't always an option. Or more specifically, perfection isn't always an option this frazzled mom even strives for anymore.
Here's the honest truth: My 7-year-old daughter now watches all the shows on the Disney channel. Yes, teenage shows. Yes, even some with sassy-talking teenagers.
I think back to that day 11 years ago, when I made a snap judgement of that mama. I think about it when my girls have friends over. I think about it especially when Sara Beth is telling her friends all about her favorite Disney shows, and even shows them--*gasp*--her Justin Bieber poster.
I wonder what her friends' moms must think of me... I'm SURE they wonder WHY I let my 7-year-old watch shows about TEENAGERS.
I guess they'll figure out real quick that I'm not perfect.
I wasn't 11 years ago, and I'm not now, either.
But, I'll take imperfect over judgemental any ole day.
How about you?
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” -Galatians 5:14