I wrote a status update for my Facebook this morning. I thought it was funny, but then I looked at it and considered it and deleted it.
I censored myself, and then I felt a little sad. I deleted it because of what some people might think. I deleted it because I thought it might put me in somebody’s box, with somebody’s label attached, and I’d be considered in their eyes a person who (fill in the blank).
I think the whole Duck Dynasty thing has made me hyper-aware of social perception. I haven’t commented on Phil or his words or what I think about them. Mainly because I don’t want to place myself in a camp. On this side or on that side. Not because I’m a fence sitter – I don’t think that’s why, anyway – but because camps are prisons and in prisons there are way too many limitations. And a prison is a really hard place to get out of once you’re in one.
I just kind of hate all the name-calling and judgement-making and side-taking, you know? My truth versus your truth never accomplishes anything.
So this morning, after I deleted my update, I sat and thought about it all for a minute or two.
Actually, I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Since before Phil said what he said, back to when my son said what he said.
It started with a shirt. A bright yellow shirt with a scripture blazed in black on it, and he was wearing it the day we were going to the drama club dress rehearsal. Not the christian drama club dress rehearsal, mind.
And they were supposed to wear the clothes they were going to wear at the drama competition at the university the next month. Not the christian university. See where I’m going with this?
I see what he’s chosen to wear and I know he hasn’t given it two thoughts. So I say, cautiously, I wonder if that shirt is the best choice?
And he looks me right in the eye and says, I don’t care what anyone thinks.
And I say back at him, That’s great. Just be prepared for the possibility of comments or even a request that you not wear that shirt to the public performance.
As it turned out, no one said anything except me, and it made me think.
And then he made a faith-type comment or two on Facebook that made me a little cringe-y, and I said, Son, I wonder a bit at what you posted. It makes me kind of uncomfortable.
And he looked me right in the eye and said, I don’t care what anyone thinks.
Now, he’s sixteen and I’m fifty, so there are a few years of living between us. But I wonder sometimes who is the wiser?
This morning I wrote a Facebook status. I thought it was funny. This is it.
The top ten things I said during the holidays, in no particular order:
1. Merry Christmas
2. Happy New Year
4. If you’re going to wrestle go outside, please.
5. Boys, take the wrestling outside!
6. GO OUTSIDE NOW!
7. If you’re going to shoot the new pellet gun go outside, please.
8. Boys, take the gun outside!
9. TAKE THAT GUN OUTSIDE NOW!
10. I love you.