I See You Over There

boy-running-alone Image via Shutterstock

I see you there, shaking your head in silent judgment as my son argues with me in public.

I see you there, making a face and rolling your eyes when my son doesn’t behave the way society expects him to behave in public places.

I see you there, telling your son not to play with, or talk to, my son because you think he’s a bad kid, a disrespectful kid, a problem kid.

My son doesn’t notice you. He’s too busy to be concerned by what other people think of him, but I notice you. I see the judgment on your face.

Do you think that I can’t see you? Do you think that somehow I love my child less than you love yours because God made him special? Do you think that somehow you and your child are better than me and my child because you don’t have the same issues that we do?

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Do you know how hard it is for me to remain silent when I see you judging my child? Do you know how badly I want to call you out in front of everyone here and say “I see you! I see you judging us!”, but unlike my son, I am hesitant to make a scene. More importantly, he hasn’t noticed you yet and I’d prefer he never does. I’d prefer he never realize that some people judge him and find him lacking in some way. He is perfectly happy with who he is, he’s perfectly content in his own skin, he doesn’t think he has any issues at all. I’d prefer to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Every person on this planet has some kind of issue. Perfection is an illusion. It just may be that your flaw is judging other people.

There are a lot of things about my child that you don’t see. You don’t know that he loves me with his whole heart, without reservation and without hesitation. You don’t see that he is fiercely protective of the people he loves and he would be deeply upset to know that you had upset me with your actions. You don’t see that he is an amazing student, and gets fantastic grades at school.  You don’t see that sometimes he frustrates me beyond belief, but he is my child and I love him just as fiercely as he loves me.  You don’t see that he is funny. That his unique perspective, and view of life, combined with the fact that he has no hesitation to point out anything he notices often makes me laugh until I have tears rolling down my face.  You don’t see that he feels things deeper than most people, that includes both joy and hurt.

No, you don’t see any of that because you don’t care. All you care about is that he is talking a little too loudly for your taste. That he is distracted by a piece of fuzz on his shirt when he should be listening. That he is emotional at times, and gets upset easily.

Because of these things you’ve decided he’s a bad kid, that he’s unintelligent, and that he’s not worthy of your time or attention.

Guess what? You are not worthy of mine, either.

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He is honest, he is authentic, and he doesn’t judge other people. He has empathy, he has compassion, and he cares about others. He is always working to be the best that he can be, and he doesn’t waste his time looking down at other people. He’s enjoying his life and he is enjoying everything that crosses his path.

Don’t you wish you could say the same?

Related post: Looking for a Land of Empathy and Wonder 


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  1. 1

    Jessica says

    The very first thing that parenthood taught me was that it required all my focus, with no room leftover for what other people thought. I learned this while in labor with my first, screaming in pain as they rolled me through the hall to the delivery room and being shushed because I was scaring other moms. At that point I had no attention to spare for what other people thought. Since that day, my kids have taught me that when they are not behaving as others expect, they require my focus, and when I focus instead on other people, I don’t parent them as I should because I’m operating out of anxiety and not out of love. You can’t be self conscious as a parent. I can’t care whether I’m judged, because I’m in it for my kids, not for others.

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  2. 11


    Love it. Sometimes I get so caught up in what other parents are thinking when my kids are acting up that I just get even more frustrated. What would the world be like if we as parents stood with each other in those moments and let each other know that they are not alone, rather than judging…

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  3. 17


    this really says it all, I find myself so distraught at the judgement of others when it comes to my son. He is very high functioning autistic and people can be so aweful simply because he looks “normal”. Usually the closer the friends and family the more brutal the judgement.

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  4. 27


    I’ve been there and I get this 100%–but I also know from personal experience that sometimes as Moms we think we are being judged when we are not. Our own insecurities make us automatically assume that everyone is looking at us in a disparaging way. Granted there are plenty of judgmental jerks out there, but not everyone who looks at you is thinking you’re a bad parent and your kid is bad.

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    • 28


      I’m glad you said this. I often see mums that I want to support or help or at least give a compassionate smile to, but I know when they feel my gaze they think I’m judging them, so I look away, which seems worse. I want to go over and say, “you’re doing great” but I don’t want to intrude or seem patronising. And when I yell at my kids in the supermarket and everyone stares, I think to myself, “at least I made you feel like a great parent today!”

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    • 29


      Oh this moment was definitely not misunderstood. There was the raising of an eyebrow, rolling of eyes, and shaking of the head all while watching my friend’s son act up at taekwondo. This mother definitely thought the child should behave better than he was. And honestly, the behavior was not out of line that far, he was talking a little too loud and when he should have been listening but it’s not like he was swinging from the rafters! :)

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