Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 18: Lessons Learned from Mom

Day 18: Judge Not

Okay, first, I need to quailfy that statement. When I had foster kids I had a teenager who was upset one of the neighbors wouldn't let their daughter go with my foster daughter and her mom to a concert. She was upset because she felt like my neighbor was judging her mom. The fact is, we are all required to make judgements every day. We have to decide whether we're going to need a jacket or an umbrella based on the weather report. As we approach an intersection, we have to judge whether the oncoming traffic is going to stop at the stop sign or come on through. And when it comes to our kids' safety, we have to judge whether a situation is safe for them or not. That's a parent's job. My neighbor didn't know the foster daughter's mom, had no idea why the kids were living with me instead of at home, or if it was a safe situation for her child. She made the best judgement she could under the situation.

That is not the kind of judgement I'm talking about here. The fact is, my mom doesn't shock very easily. I grew up in a pretty straight-laced home where the rules are the rules and what's right is right and what isn't, just isn't. Despite what some might see as my parents being inflexible (which they really weren't--I really got away with more than my share of things) Mom has a pretty open mind. She doesn't always like the choices we make, but she accepts them, and accepts us despite our occasional stupidity, or in my case, sheer bull-headedness.

I see the same quality in her every day whether it's dealing with things that come up in the family, in the ward or in the community she seems to accept new situations with aplomb and continue on --I'm not saying that there isn't a moment when she has to readjust her thinking, none of us are so automated that we're never surprised. But despite any private moments of worry, she treats everyone with the same friendly attitude whether they be a bishop or a pregnant teen, young mom, or a someone who's been in trouble with the law. She's a good example of remembering that we're all God's children, and deserve to be treated that way.

3 comments:

Tristi Pinkston said...

Now I'm trying to envision what evil things you might have gotten away with ... worst I can picture you doing is something like shoving socks under your bed instead of putting them in the hamper. :) I seriously doubt you were any kind of wild child.

Rachelle said...

It would be so nice if more people would give each other the benefit of the doubt instead of judging. Your mom has the right idea. :)
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Heather Justesen said...

Tristi, I will hint that there were more than socks under the bed..there might have even been...JEANS!

And the rest of my deep, dark secrets probably wouldn't do more than fill an interesting scene in a novel--if I embellished. But that doesn't mean I didn't screw up from time to time. I was a teenager once, after all.