Commentary by Danielle Wilson
Recently, I’ve developed a crush on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I love her spunky, “I’ll never die” energy, and the fact that she does not take poop from anyone. But what I admire most is her practical take on balancing work, motherhood and marriage. Basically, she suggests that you allow each area of your life to serve as a refuge from the others, and that on occasion, you become deaf.
It is this second little nugget of wisdom upon which I would like to expound today, my dear readers, for in my infinite experience as a teacher, wife and parent, I’ve found that pretending not to hear muttered cuss words, murmured criticisms, and stream-of-consciousness rants by teenage girls proves to be a great advantage, cutting way down on my stress levels and, consequently, the amount of Prosecco needed to dull the edge.
Think about it. Are we always better off when we correct young people on their choice of vocabulary? Should we never simply let harsh words fly right past us on their way out of our minds forever? And is it always mandatory to fully engage with a color guard member who is ranting about some rifle spin or saber toss that she just can’t manage to land? Sometimes, I find myself so worked up by my students’ colorful profanity or my husband’s insensitive remarks or the fact that my daughter has been spewing play-by-play dance drama for 28 minutes straight that I lose perspective on the bigger things in life. I literally get sucked into the negative comments and the bratty shenanigans and forget that all things considered, I’m OK.
So, I’m going to continue to heed the advice of Justice Ginsburg and occasionally go deaf. I’m going to tune out my children’s word vomit when they aren’t looking for answers but merely to vent. I’m going to ignore hurtful language that doesn’t serve a purpose. And I’m going to pretend not to hear when a high-schooler drops the F-bomb two feet from me because his signature hashtag has been co-opted. #JoinMe. #SCOTUS_crush.