We live smack dab in the middle of suburbia. Houses close together with yards back to back mean that occasionally we inadvertently get up in other peoples business.
This crosses my mind on those nice evenings when we have all our windows open and I am shouting things like "stop licking your sister!" and "for the love of all things holy, put on some underwear!". Most the time, things are pretty good at our house. Our kids, for the most part, are nice little humans. I am not much of a yell-er when angry and am more prone to getting dangerously quiet. If you asked our neighbors, I am relatively certain we would land somewhere in the "normal" category.
When only hearing snippets of other peoples lives, it is easy to get a little judgey.
Like the time one of our neighbors locked his wife out of the house while yelling things not fit to print. In front of there 3 little kids.
Or like tonight, when I could hear a neighbor screaming at her son that he was an asshole and asking if he was too retarded to do what she had requested.
It would be easy to call these parenting fails, and, well, they are. But we are not immune, we all have our ugly moments that we hope no one notices.
The truth is parenting is hard, relentless, and holds up a magnifying glass to all our character weaknesses. We say things we don't mean, we crush small people who are just learning how to be big, we are unkind and disrespectful.
The open window is such a good reminder for me to think before I act and speak. Not that I am overly concerned about my neighbors impressions of my parenting skills, but because I am very concerned about being a good mom. I WANT to remember to temper my tongue. I WANT to think before my actions or words are reckless and damaging. I want this because my children deserve to have a mom who is giving it her best shot, not that I think I will always be spot on.
So here is to open windows in my house; to speaking with respect to all people, especially the little ones under this roof. My children will grow up to do what they have seen, not just what they have been told, and I want to give them the best shot that I am able.