Labels – everything has them.  Some of my favorite are listed here.

“Warning: This product can burn eyes.” — On a curling iron.

“Not intended for highway use.” — On a 13-inch wheel on a wheelbarrow.

“Do not use for drying pets.” — In the manual for a microwave oven.

“Always drive on roads. Not on people.” — From a car commercial which shows a vehicle “body-surfing” at a concert.

My favorite things to label are my kids – actually, I dare anyone raising multiples to manage all the questions without labeling.  “Which one is the leader?”  “Which one is the smart one?”  “Which one keeps you the busiest?”  “What kind of big brother is he?”  “Who is the speaker of the bunch?”  “Who is the baby?” and so on and so on. 

Truth be told, we all label each other, so why are kids any different?  I was labeled as a kid, I am sure of it.  First of all, I was the only girl, so most often when you didn’t know our family, I was given the title of “spoiled child”  which was not true, that title belonged to the younger brother.  Smile  Sorry, but true. 

I was labeled all kinds of things, the most hurtful was in high school and that label was spread all over.  Even to the local community college.  In that day, it was crazy to be “gay” and everyone around “knew” that my two besties and I were “gay” because we were so close.  Labeled?  Yep.  (We are pretty sure our ex-boyfriends had started the rumors; poor guys, if not, they certainly found great joy in spreading it.)

I know my kids are at that yucky age when labels are dished out like sticks of gum.  Nerd.  Geek.  Jock.  Prep.  Girls who think they are hot.  Punk.  Skater.  Stupid.  Brainiac.  And once a label is given, it sticks.   As much as I don’t enjoy my children being labeled, I am a realist.  I label them myself.  I do it all the time right here on my blog.  Crazy Man?  He is crazy.  I like that about him.  Some may find him overwhelming.  It may be truth, but it is a label.

Here are my other labels for my own children:

JP – Mature, highly intelligent, deep, Mr. Black and White, trustworthy, dependable, leader

Princess – Beautiful, dream student, artsy, drama queen, maternal, extremely thoughtful, confident, servant, and a leader

Curly – Spaz, humorous, creative, short fused, persnickety, messy, tomboyish, whiner, gift giver, blunt

Crazy Man – Crazy (duh!), musical, spatial, fearless, sensitive, alternative, messy, Mr. Fix-it, follower

This is the way God made each of my children, and He knows every detail about them each.  Do I care if you honestly label my kids?  Not one bit.

To my kids: be sure you are truthful when you place labels on others, and be flexible; people change.  Don’t allow either your past or the pasts of other to permanently be part of how you are viewed or how you view them.  Don’t trust others’ labels they have put on people.  Make your own judgment of others and judge fairly.  Be kind to people who have negatively perceived labels;  nerds grow up to be handsome men who run businesses, alternative kids change the world with the way they think, caring people who stand up to bullies change lives even if doing so makes them victims.  Life is funny that way.  Jocks are only jocks for so long and after that, they are like everyone else.  Drug addicts can overcome.  Girls who think they are all that (especially at the expense of others) grow up to be wives and moms just like the clumsy less-put-together girls do.  Life comes around full circles. 

On the other hand, don’t do dumb things that bring negative labels onto yourself.  ‘Nuff said.  Truthful labels can also be labels you don’t like.  Truth sometimes hurts.

And I will leave you with another classic label:

fail owned pwned pictures



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pattyann
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 22:04:06

    I have always liked the one that says: “Do not fold up stroller with baby inside”. You have to admit, that one gives you vivid images! Loved your writing today.


  2. selfsagacity
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 04:48:59

    what a great post. I enjoyed it. 🙂


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