By Dawn Humphreys
When in my 20s, I was just beginning to grow up while being aware of those around me.
I do mean starting to grow up.
This year I, in 50s am enjoying the process of growing up, in fact I embrace it – it’s fun.
This story isn’t really about growing up, this chronicle is about making a judgment call. I had to grow up to do it.
My husband and I were newly married.
We were also members in a close knit church – I say ”close knit” due to if it were found out you consorted with “the world” the minister just might come “aknockin.”
During this time a lot of baby girls had been born and my husband and I noticed a trend – it started with one mom, then another … and then it seemed an all out and out contest.
Who could put the most ribbons, lace, ruffles, and gathers into the dress they made (or had made for them) for their baby girl?
I judged them. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit, I really judged them.
I even asked my mother-in-law to stop sending those amazingly cute suits for our son, I was in judgement.
A quick digression on judgement.
Nasty stuff that especially with Christ mumbling, “judge not, lest you be …” Today, I strive not to judge instead I umpire.
The first agreement I made by myself on not judging was on my past. I would allow it to simply be. What’s done is done and couldn’t be changed (but maybe, just maybe – could be learned from.)
So, I umpire. Umpires – umpires are in the game they are in.
My game = I umpire me. Now it’s not to say sometimes (OK fine! Many times) I can look back and want to jeer.
Then, my brother’s daughter was born .
I adored that kid from birth.
I watched her being judged and remembered how it felt. I felt a connection to her from then on. So, I got in the lace and ribbon gathering game.
I bought this teal sparkle material that set my grocery money back a bit, but I didn’t care I was in the game. The matching lace was bought and ribbon too.
I set about making a dress a salon girl would be proud to wear – it was gathered to the nines, laced and ribboned within an inch of its life – and given to that niece I simply loved and felt I would always understand.
It felt good to allow her and me in the game – just that once – together.
It’s one of the rare times, this umpire will look back at the past and yell out: “Good call, Ump! Good call!
I’m still thankful to mother and daughter for letting me in the game.
Dawn Humphreys is an East Sooke resident and author of the upcoming book Straight Talk from a Zig Zag Girl.