I love labels. When I am on vacation I want to label everyone’s drinks so we don’t waste cups. I bought a labelmaker so I could label everyone’s school supplies. I used to label things with my old fashioned labeler when I was little. Remember the kind with the dial that you twisted to the letter you wanted and then it would imprint it on the red tape. Well, at least mine was red and I used it to label things that could only have been mine but for some reason I felt like they needed that label – like my fish tank. I did label that. I also tried to train my fish with a flashlight but that’s another story for another day.
Now I label my car. We have magnets on the back of the Odyssey. There’s a runner girl, 13.1 and a Weaver cheer magnet screaming out to all that I pass. I actually like the car labels because honestly when I am at Target it is really hard to tell the difference between all of the silver Odysseys in the parking lot. Although, I am probably one of the few with three carseats in it, a case of Mountain Dew and a yet to be finished chai.
I label myself on Facebook. Mom, CEO, writer, jewerly maker, lunchmaker, Obama supporter etc. And I feel like I shout my Mother of Four label out to the world if the kids aren’t all tagging along. I’ve even contemplated getting a pin or a t-shirt that says I have four kids so when they aren’t with me people will excuse me for my mismatched socks, disheveled purse and dark circles under my eyes.
I label people in my mind all the time. I know exactly what a suburban mother of four should look like and it’s not me. I have a friend who is super granola and environmentally friendly and I wrongly assumed she was a democrat. My labels sometimes stop me from getting to know someone. And I learned today in my writing class that had I been on time to class and done a once over I would have labeled almost every single person incorrectly.
So I guess I hate labels. Don’t label my kids. They are so much more than the labels that can be applied to them, especially at school. And that is seriously another whole post. So maybe my Lenten promise will be to give up labels. I’ll peel them off the car, I’ll show and not tell, and I’ll listen and not judge. And I’ll be a real vegan (one that doesn’t eat cheese) and I’ll make my kids give up fast food.