Friday, January 23, 2009

Girl Cheese

I used to babysit for two kids, Daniel (4) and Elizabeth (6), while I was living in Ithaca. These two kids were so adorable I always thought they should have been in the trendy Gap sweater ads from that era (2000). They were also very smart children. Their dad worked at Cornell and their mom worked at a local school. This family was what my friends and I called "granola crunchy" people. They weren't hippies (then), but they were conscious of healthy personal and (I'm sure) environmental choices. Daniel and Elizabeth thought organic yogurt was dessert!

One night, while babysitting, the kids had a friend (maybe a cousin?) over. He was a little wild child, and it threw my little darlings for a loop. They were normally very calm (one day I asked them what they wanted to do, and they chose to listen to a book on cd---Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh). On the evening of their visiting cousin, Daniel took on the cousin's characteristics and I let them run around and be messy boys for a bit so Elizabeth and I could chat at the kitchen table (one of my favorite pasttimes). We talked about school, and friends, and other 6-year old things.

Elizabeth told me a story about how she used to always be very confused when her mom made grilled cheese and gave it to Daniel. She said she always thought it was actually called "girl cheese" and she was worried that Daniel shouldn't have it because he was a boy. But, she reassured me, she had figured it out and knew it was ok. How did she figure it out?

She cared about her brother. She worried. Then she asked.

The part many of us don't do is ASK. We have a snippet of information (maybe misperceived), and then we begin to worry about it. So, we create a snowball effect of worst case scenarios and outcomes in our minds. Take a moment the next time you're in a situation like this. Then find out who would know the real story, and ask them.

Save the stress for something real :)

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