Courage. Self-Esteem. Pride of Accomplishment. Self-Confidence. Humility. Empathy. Kindness. Compassion. These words represent just a few of the traits I hope to instil in my kids as they grow. There are moments when I feel completely overwhelmed by the task that I’m taking on and then there are other moments when I realize that our actions speak far louder than any words we could ever speak.
I started taking karate when I was 9. I quickly learned that this fact was something that I should “hide” or I risked being teased about it. It simply wasn’t “something that a girl should do”. So as I grew, I simply failed to mention it in conversations. I didn’t so much hide it outright, I just hid it by omission. It took me a LONG time to realize that the problem wasn’t with everyone else’s perception but my own. My dad used to always tell me, “What other people think of you is none of your business.” When I finally came to understand exactly what he was trying to tell me… that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought of it, only what I thought of it, it was then that I started to accept me as me. Now, I’m comfortable enough in my own skin, that I don’t worry about what people will think when the fact that I train karate comes up. I am proud of the fact that I’ve earned my second degree black belt in Kyokushin. I worked hard for it and am no longer embarrassed by it.
This brings me to the debate that Eric and I are having. When Eric and I first met, we quickly discovered that photography wasn’t the only thing we had in common. We both knit. Yup, you read that right, Eric knits, and he’s really good at it. The girls both wear toques that he made and which are commented on often. I love telling people, when asked, that their dad made them for them. This is usually met with a little bit of shock and disbelief, after all, guys don’t knit, right?
Since we’ve moved to Pitt Meadows, Eric’s commute time has basically doubled. This, I don’t envy. He doesn’t mind taking the West Coast Express and uses the time to work or read or even nap 🙂 This, I do envy… completely uninterrupted time to do what you want? Yes, Please. (All the moms out there will know what I mean!) I’ve been trying to convince him that it would be the perfect place to work on his knitting projects. He thinks that it would be awkward. He’s uncomfortable with the fact that people might stare. It goes back to the fact that “men shouldn’t be knitting”. I think, what does it matter?
I guess it’s easy for me to sit on the sideline and tell him it shouldn’t matter what anyone on the train thinks. I’m not the one feeling judged. Then I think about the karate judgments and the fact that it was my perception of it that needed to change. Then I think about the example it would set for our kids. The confidence to know what you’re doing is different but not caring and doing it anyway.
So what are your thoughts? Is it really a simple question of to knit or not to knit? Is it more complicated than that? Should it really matter what the people on the train think?
In case you’re wondering, here’s his current project.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Happy Wednesday 🙂