“The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgement.”
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
I act like sh*t don’t phase me, inside it drives me crazy, my insecurities could eat me alive.
The girls have just gone to bed. I’ve got twenty more minutes in me if I’m lucky, but I’ve got to tell Luau about the mall.
“She was really having trouble. I mean, it was bad. There was a baby off in the distance somewhere and then another one in the store and she was shouting and hooting and well, she was basically in a complete panic. All I wanted to do was get her out of there, but we needed to pay for the gift for Julie.”
Luau is listening. He knows there’s more. There’s always more.
“She was doing that thing where she yells HUG! HUG! HUG! and actually wants a kiss? Well, ya know, sort of. It’s more of a face smush than a kiss, but you know what I’m talking about, right? Does she do that with you?”
“Anyway, it was just too much. Her entire body was tense and she couldn’t stop yelling. It was like she was being attacked. I felt absolutely horrible for her.
But this was the thing … in that moment — in that God-awful moment, I knew people were staring at us. I knew they were judging us — judging her, judging me … ”
I take a deep breath before finishing the sentence.
“… and I didn’t care.”
I let those words hang in the air for a minute. They’re big.
Luau is quiet.
“And it wasn’t a defiant, stomping my feet and jumping up and down kind of not caring, it was just, an ‘it is what it is’ kind of not caring.”
“I mean, I thought about it. I noticed the older lady whose gaze was fixed right at Brooke, but it just, well … was. And as I was focusing in on trying to help our girl and managing everything around us, I thought, “Yes, people are staring. A nine-year old kid is yelling; why wouldn’t they be curious as to why?” And I knew that some of the people that I thought were judging weren’t. And I knew that if I took the time to look around (which I didn’t) that some of the people whom I would have been convinced were staring at us weren’t.”
“You still with me?” I ask.
Luau smirks. “Uh huh.”
“It was just .. well, it was good, ya know? I mean, the meltdown was awful. Brooke in a panic was awful. But the not caring about the reaction part – that was good.”
“Yes,” he says, “that was really good.”
And because he loves me, he leaves out, “It’s about time.”