She was being three. Running around the front of the grocery cart and giggling. “Peek-a-boo!” she jeered through the bars at her sister. She sure is spirited, the woman behind me sneered. Her teenager was rolling her eyes at her iPhone, looks like you’ve got a spirited one yourself, I offered back.
For the first time, I didn’t allow someone’s comments to make me shrink into myself.
And I never would again.
I’m a rather tough mom. I don’t cave easily. I often remind my darling threenager to settle down, mind her hands, keep her voice down- all at appropriate times. And when she upsets patrons in certain situations, I apologize, but I don’t need to apologize for her age. Three year olds are, by nature, spirited, and the words, “I’m sorry, she’s three,” keep happening to me. I find them spilling from my lips, falling on unwilling listeners. They do not want an apology, they want some Colonial Times version of children. They prefer them seen and not heard… all while they talk loudly into cell phones, snap gum in their mouths, and lay hands on their own.
I will not apologize for her age anymore. I will not say I’m sorry for her laughter, even when it is a bit loud. Or her clapping her hands at her sister’s delight. I will not take the joy of hearing the innocence of childhood spill from my children in line at the grocery store. And in return, I vow to not show up at a restaurant at 9pm on a Friday night with my kids and hope to not spoil your evening. I will not bring my babies into the Fine China section of any department stores. But when we are in public, and Addie is being three, I will not be sorry anymore.
I won’t apologize for her being her anymore. Let them be three. #aisforadelaide
— Chelley Martinka (@martinkadelux) October 25, 2015
We are family, and family sticks together, minding our own and tending their young minds to shape them into adults. I am shaping these minds to be active and creative. To test some boundaries, because what is life if not something we push to change and improve?
This is the day I stop apologizing to you, and looking inward to us.
Let them be three.