BETTER NOT POUT!
🎃Halloween is over. and so is Thanksgiving.
🎄Get ready for Christmas
I LOVE Christmas! Well, except for one teeny little part called “better not pout.” It’s part of our secular American Christmas tradition. It says so in the song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
‘You better watch out, you better not cry Better not pout, I’m telling you why Santa Claus is comin’ to town.’
Lisa Smith, creator of ‘The Peaceful Parent’ published a guide for gentle parenting through the holidays. (Link included below). She wrote her own letter in response to the song, “
“How can you be sure that you got your list right? How can you know what’s going on in the heart of a kid who’s having a hard time and is acting up?”
Bless you Lisa! 🙏🙏🙏
It’s been a long time since I learned the meaning of ‘pout,’ but let me assure you, I wasn’t too old to have my eyes well up with tears of relief when I read that!
I had been going about my day exploring the world.
“What happens if you put this here?” I wondered. “What does that thing do? I’m going to pet that cat whether he likes it or not!”
Somehow, without intending to be bad, I constantly annoyed my mother. It seemed that I was just a rotten egg.
Sometimes I had forgotten what she scolded me for the last time, and repeated an offense. Worst of all, those pesky body signals for toilet training were too subtle—until it was suddenly too late.
Yes, I was messy, but hey, it wasn’t ALWAYS my fault. That cherry cordial that got all over my rocking horse? I didn’t get that candy out of the box myself, now, did I?
I remember an index finger wagging in my face and hearing the words, “Aren’t you ashamed?”
You know how we talk about teaching our kids that we always love them, it’s not them, but the behavior that’s the problem?
Well, I got the opposite message. I got the message, “You are a major problem.”
(I know better now, but preschoolers can’t process nuance.)
So, on this one particular occasion, when I had just been informed that I had again fallen from grace, I was also told to stop pouting.
Maybe I looked confused, because they told me it was on my face.
I felt my face, and there was nothing on it.
“It’s the way you look.” A parent said.
“Your expression.” Said the other.
“Expression’ was a big word, but I figured it out.
I had been sad and let it show on my face. That meant I was not only naughty, but was in a special category or horribleness. I was so bad that even sorrow over my guilt was, itself, naughty. (Decades later I would have an ear worm of Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good” going through my head until I taught myself to stop all disempowering self talk).
We don’t choose our feelings. They’re involuntary. I think any moral system is completely bogus when it blames and shames people for things they can’t help. How can you be morally culpable without intention?
It never made any sense to me, and with good reason. I wasn’t bad, after all. I’m grateful to leave all of that in the past, but I’m not leaving the lessons and wisdom behind.
. My life has been enriched with lessons learned through living, and I want to share what I’ve learned.
May your holy daze be blessed with appreciation for the the children in your life, lots of friends, and just enough good food. Don’t overdo the lights and parties. I invite you to set aside time to plumb the primal darkness which is the womb of life. Then, on solstice, we celebrate the light of our very own star, Old Sol, who makes our lives possible.
Feel what you feel, even if it’s guilt over pouting. Acceptance is the beginning of wisdom.
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