Who I Want My Children to Share a Bathroom With
I’ve been reading a lot about the bathroom controversy that is dividing school districts, states, and even our nation itself over the last few months. I’ve also been reading a lot about fear. I’ve learned that our brains can’t fully function—can’t make rational decisions—when we are fearful of something.
“Fear prompts retreat. It is the antipode to progress. Just when we need new ideas most, everyone is seized up in fear, trying to prevent losing what we have left.”
Like most parents, I often find myself paralyzed with fear. “What if…?” constantly repeats in my head, and I can’t change the station. Still, I know that to improve, set an example, and keep our sanity, we as parents must stay calm and not allow ourselves to be trapped in the cycle of fear. So, I created my own list of people I want my children to share a bathroom with—free of hot-topic buzzwords, free of bias and assumptions, free of unnecessary fear.
I want my children to share a bathroom with someone who
- holds the door for them when they see them coming.
- smiles slightly when my youngest forgets she is in public and sings louder than expected from the stall.
- furiously scrubs my child’s name off the bathroom wall, should the crushing possibility come to fruition that a person dare write it there in the first place.
- passes toilet paper under the stall when they ask for it (and leaves the bathroom quickly to minimize their embarrassment).
- reminds them that the reflection they are looking at is only a fraction of the story.
- loans them a quarter and a smile when they need it the most.
- holds their hair, rubs their back, and tells them everything is going to be OK when it feels like the furthest thing from the truth.
- asks if they can call them a cab.
- turns the water off when they use it to mask sobs, and plants themselves on the floor—even when they say they’re “fine”.
- yells “It’s occupied!” loud enough to scare off even the most persistent knocker when one of them is not quite ready to face the world.
- reminds them they are kind, they are needed, and they matter (should they ever forget their mother’s mantra).
- smiles at the babies they may have someday, keeping them occupied while they try to wrestle them into a clean diaper.
- understands that the differences we attempt to wallow in are far slighter than the humanity we share.
- operates from a mass of love, not a strand of fear.
That’s who I hope they share a bathroom with; nothing else matters much to this mom.