“Are You Rich?” And Other Awkward Questions

Are You Rich“Are you rich?”

“Why are you fat?”

“You’re a boy, so why do you have an earing?”

“How come you let your kids watch The Little Mermaid?”

“How come you wear that shirt to church?”

“Why are you late all the time?”

“Do you drive that because you are poor?”

These are all very awkward questions. They are also the questions that kids seem to ask other people while you’re standing right there. Or while you’re within ear shot of other people. Or any ol’ time for that matter.

They are also all questions that my kids have asked other people.

Oh yes!

I kid you not.

I wish I could insert a “Just kidding!” right about here. But to my utter mortification I can not. The strangest part is that all of those questions come out of no where. {Well except for the question about watching The Little Mermaid – but that’s a story for anther day.}  The rest of these questions are NOT things we talk about in our home. Nor do we make rude comments about other people’s arrival times, size, clothing, vehicles, etc.

The embarrassment I feel in those beyond-awkward moments is almost unbearable. I hastily paste a smile on my face and give “the look” to the offending child all in one flowing motion as I try to appear like a godly mother who will get this under control. I quickly sequester him/her so I can stop any further zingers from coming out of their mouth while I fumble for words that explain where that just came from.

And then I begin to apologize.  Like my very breath depends on it!

I think I might have better success wrangling a herd of wild beasts than trying to give answer for my child’s craziness!

In those moments – when. time. seems. to. have. stopped. and. I. just. want. to. hide. – I long for the ability to either rewind and intercept the situation, or fast-forward to where my child is once again speaking appropriately. My mind reels with what the other person (or heaven forbid, persons!) might be thinking in those stiff and artless seconds. The fear of what they think of me, my child, and my parenting skills brings me to a point of frantic panic.

The irony of it all is that if {and when} I’m the other adult in this little scenario, I really don’t think badly of that parent at all. I usually want to giggle…or I want to reach out and hug the other Mom because her child just proved to me that I’m not alone and that she faces the same challenges as I do! And the awkward question they just asked…I truly don’t mind the honesty of a child and the opportunity to engage with him and her. And maybe just maybe {*wink*} have fun with my answer.

The truth in those moments is that we are more concerned about what people are thinking of us than how our response to whatever our child did – innocent or not so innocent – brings glory to God. I should be more mortified over my sinful reaction than the ill-mannered behavior of my child. And once I acknowledge my own sinful heart – Jeremiah 17:9 – I can celebrate the grace of God in that situation: which is His perfect love for me no matter what others are thinking about me.

  • What strange questions has your child asked?
  • How do you respond to your child in those very embarrassing moments?
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