(or “Getting over myself.”)



So, I had to make a run to the post office today.


I waited until after Gracie’s nap and lunch, then packed her up and drove ‘cross town. As is typical, there were a dozen people in line and one employee behind the counter.


I held Grace, bouncing her and talking quietly, hoping that her patience would last.


Alas, it was not to be so, and soon enough boredom overtook her and she began to fuss.


Without really thinking about I started singing to her, again very softly, as that often keeps her happy. The song that came to mind first was a silly version of Ernie’s “Rubber Ducky” song that we’ve personalized to “Silly Pickle…”


“Silly Pickle, you’re the one,

  You make our lives lots of fun!

  Silly Pickle, we’re especially fond of you…”


Again, I wasn’t really thinking about it too much, it’s just something I do out of habit (or maybe, self-preservation) but then, suddenly, I felt like I was being watched. I turned slightly to see a younger guy near the end of the line, eyeing me with obvious disdain.


You know…that “what a wonk” look that only a gothed-out twenty-year old can really master.  


You know what I did?


…I stopped singing.


I didn’t even think about it, I just mentally agreed with the kid that I must look like the world’s biggest wonk, standing in the post office singing the rubber ducky song. So, I stopped singing and Gracie’s smile began to fade as she started to fuss once more.


Suddenly, I realized what had just happened.


First of all…I didn’t know this kid from Adam, and he didn’t know me. What the heck did I care what some barely-legal grunge band wanna-be thought about me? It’s not like I was ever going to see this kid again, and even if I did, so what?


Secondly, and on a purely selfish level, how could this twerp’s approval (which I probably couldn’t have gotten regardless,) POSSIBLY compare to the joy I get from seeing my daughter smile?


So, I had to say to myself, “Self…get over yourself!”

And…I started singing again, albeit just a bit louder for the kids benefit. I may have even thrown in a dance step or two.


When I looked up, the kid was gone.


Either he’d gotten tired of waiting in line, or he feared that my overwhelming uncoolness might be catching. Either way, who cares? Gracie was happily bouncing away in my arms, a big smile plastered to her face, and that was all the approval I needed.


Besides, he looked like a wonk anyway.


-Gracie’s Daddy