My daughter is loud. She is the loudest person I have ever met. When she was little, I went to my neighbors and said, ‘if you hear her screaming, and you will, please feel free to come over and check on her, or call the police – whatever you feel is the right thing for you to do.’
She is also often loud out in public – as every parent knows, loudness will be in direct relation to the importance of being quiet.
For example, we were invited not to come back to the library in a neighboring town, after my daughter had to be carried out under my arm, screaming bloody murder because she wanted more books. And when our congregation moved into a new church building, she could be heard screaming, ‘they’re everywhere, spiders are everywhere!’ when she saw the sprinkler heads on the ceiling. To her credit, sprinkler heads do kind of look like spiders.
And then there are the embarrassing questions, asked at the top of their little lungs. ‘Mommy, why does that lady have a beard?” (Man with a ponytail gives me a mean look.)
It took a lot of coaching and reminding to get her to wait until we were in the car, doors closed, before asking any questions that might hurt someone’s feelings. But we had a victory here!
We were at a store south of town when a van of little people, six or seven of them, dressed in Amish or Mennonite garb, parks next to our car as we are walking out of the store. I am waiting for a loud, rude question – but nothing is said. Once we are in the car and the doors are closed, my daughter says, ‘Well, that was unusual!” I asked if she had any questions about little people, or plain people. We had a nice question and answer session about both subjects. And I thanked her for waiting until the car doors were closed to ask the questions.
Her response – “Mom! I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.” Victory!