Here’s another confession. Not a proud parenting moment.
When we moved with our three kids to Tennessee, I was plagued with anxiety about how people would view me and my family of 5. I think I was justified, as to the fact that we live on $12,000 of student loans a year + whatever wages my husband can scrape up in his spare time during the school year and summers. [The big fat greedy lawyers do not pay clerks enough. Whenever LG is high and mighty, he is going to fork over some cash to those starving students. Or, maybe he won’t, maybe it is some kind of passage of rite: if you can make it through law school alive, then you deserve a decent salary.]
Well, embarassingly enough, I was heard to encourage my children not to do certain things in fear of fitting into the “poor” role. I would give them good advice like: wear your shoes, brush your teeth, comb your hair, don’t say bad words, be nice to your friends…..all good pieces of motherly advice. Sometimes, I would put a little add-on at the end, “Now, you don’t want people to think that we are white-trash.”
One night, we were all taking a late drive home. It was a sure thing that all the girls would fall asleep on the hour and a half drive. Abigail had gotten her pants really dirty or wet so that she didn’t want to wear them on the long drive. We were caught without a change of clothes and so we told her to just take her pants off and put her blanket (pictured above) over her legs to cover her up. She was satisfied with the solution to the problem.
Well, we ended up needing to take a potty break and a stop for some more baby formula. We stopped in at the local grocer. I wrapped Abigail up and told her to keep herself covered as we ran into the bathroom. Abigail was only about 4 at this time. When she finished her business, she caught me completely off guard when she said matter of factly to me:
“Mom, now, cover me up good, we don’t want anyone to think that I am white trash!”