The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

they know me well

As our children have gotten a little older, I am constantly amazed to discover that they seem to know me, the person, and not just The Mom. As parents, we diligently look for the hints of emerging personalities in our little ones if for no other reason than to attempt to roadblock a tantrum or meltdown. But, it’s interesting to consider that perhaps our children are looking for – or noticing, at least – our likes and dislikes. The more I think about it, ‘interesting’ may not be the most appropriate word. Scary, maybe. Oh great, I didn’t think they’d notice might be the prevailing thought.

 Might be the thought? Probably. Actually, yeah, that’s what I’ve found myself thinking lately.

When your daughter reaches the age of 12, she will notice if you wear the same pair of pants two days in a row. When your son reaches the age of 9, he will notice if you sneak a bite of cake before breakfast. And, they both notice if it’s 5:30 and no one has started cooking supper. So, they know I’m not big on laundry, that I tend to snack when I’m waiting for the coffee to brew and I tend to be glued to my laptop late in the day and procrastinate getting in the kitchen. Oh, and they know I am forgetful…we are out of milk this morning and I have got to get Em’s art supplies before her lesson this afternoon.

And, here’s something else they know…..

George Strait


I don’t know things like his birthday, his favorite color or his kid’s names. But I do love his music. Old and new. I love it all.

So, get this…Emma and Ben pooled their money and bought The Hubs and me tickets to go see a George Strait concert next weekend.

Now, get this…When they came in the kitchen to tell us about our gifts, they interrupted The Hubs telling me that he was getting us tickets to the exact same concert.

 I can’t remember ever eeeeever being so shocked. It is such a thoughtful thing to do, yes, but the thought I keep having is Man, they know me well. All 3 of them!

In between stanzas of Ace in the Hole, I’ve been thinking about the ways we “tell” people about ourselves. Certainly, we use words. For example, every time a George Strait song comes on the radio, I turn it up loud and yell, “Sing it to me, George!” The kids used to think that was funny. Not so much now. Especially in the school pick up line. Or, when I’m driving the cross country team to a meet.  I really don’t do that much anymore.

It can be a daunting thought, really. People take in our words and our actions and create this persona in their minds and attach our name to it. They label us. They tag us with words like Nice, Grumpy, Intense, Weird, Cheater, Sweet, etc.

What are the words floating over your head in someone else’s mind? Better yet, what words do you WANT to float over your head in someone else’s mind?

If you are floating through your days without considering the impression you are giving your children, your spouse, your coworkers or your neighbors, George would say You’re Dancin’ This Dance All Wrong.

And he’d be right.


8 responses to “they know me well

  1. Sweetie Berry January 18, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I do believe we forget that the snapshots others have of us are build in small moments when we may not always be our best….we may think of ourselves as kind, loving, or patient people, but do those interacting with us have that experience in the moment? How delightful that your family do know you so well, and how fun to have two sets of tickets…another couple to join you for the concert and meet up afterwards for breakfast out? Who cares if they are sitting by you? Our actions, our manners define us, I hope the definition I am living is one of gracious giving and forgiving.

    • Kate January 18, 2011 at 9:20 am

      Thanks for such a thoughtful comment. You hit on something… those snapshots people get of us. Boy, those can be telling. Would I really want people to hear my thoughts when someone gets my parking spot or “borrows” my chair from my desk without returning it? It’s these quick moments of reaction that can tell the tale, for sure.


  2. Marti Tolleson January 18, 2011 at 10:03 am

    WHAT??!!! You got tickets??!! Those darn sweet kids…what are we to do with them?! That’s just the sweetest, most thoughtful gift…knowing, too, how much you like GS. Bet you and ‘ol Hubs won’t have as much fun as we did at ZBB!

  3. Semi-Slacker Mom January 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    That’s it, I totally kidnapping Emma. 😉 I can hear you singing George right now. I really like this post. Mind if I link to it?

  4. Margit January 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE KING GEORGE!!! This makes me love you that much more. His wife is Naomi, and his son is Bubba. His daughter, Jennifer, was killed in a car accident back in the 80’s when she was 13. Lives on a ranch in Texas (of course,) and big into professional rodeo roping. I’ve loved him since I was in 8th grade, and heard The Chair for the first time. Your kids rock. Have a blast at the concert! P.S. Did I mention I LOVE King George too?

    • Kate January 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      Heavens! You do love GS! Well, I’ll be happy to give you a blow by blow afterward. I didn’t know this about you, either…

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