Guest post by Jill LeBaron
Since when did it become a bad thing to be a good girl? Long gone are the days of Donna Reed and Leave it to Beaver, but is it too much to hope that there is still value in being wholesome?
“Mommy, I think you’re more innocent than I am,” my 13 year old daughter said one evening, as we were just starting out to walk the dog.
This is not the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk. Even my spouse says that I should like to have more fun.
Is it my fault that our versions of “fun” are wildly different? Or is there something I’m missing?
I am not entirely sure when or why I first began to don the image of this young, naive girl (albeit now an older, naive woman). I’ve never been the most adventurous or spontaneous, so maybe this goody-two-shoes image stems from those characteristics.
Maybe it’s because I was never interested in drinking or drugs.
Maybe it’s because I grew up going to church?
Or, I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I like to do the RIGHT thing.
I actually prefer to make choices that make me feel good and leave me with no inner turmoil.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am no saint. I may not like the taste of beer, wine or most cocktails, but put a margarita in my hand (which should always be served with a straw - yes, I’m looking at you, House of Blues) and I won’t hesitate to enjoy it with dinner.
And yes, yes - I curse from time to time, but I always know my audience and rarely use foul language out of anger.
You might be surprised to hear that I enjoy reading books with a healthy dose of romance, some which might make the Tuesday Morning Ladies Bible class blush. (No, I’m not talking about 50 Shades of Grey, although yes, technically I did read that one, but only for Book Club. Really. And I didn’t read book 2 or 3 because the quality of the story and writing was undeveloped.)
So yes, I find joy in reading. I’m inspired by HGTV. I love Jesus (and America, too).
I miss the days when Nick Jr. played reruns of I Love Lucy and The Patty Duke Show. And yes, my nickname at my first post-college job was “Mary Sunshine.”
But this Mary Sunshine is ready to put her foot down.
I am not a Pollyanna or a pushover. I just want to be me. Even though the world and my own daughter believe I might be too innocent, I am happy to cling to the optimism of the girl I once was while growing into a woman of good character and integrity.
And if that makes me seem like a goody-two-shoes, then I suppose that’s a label I can live with.
But maybe I should start praying for the rest of y’all.
Jill LeBaron is a sixth-grade English-Language Arts teacher in Keller, Texas. When she's not in her classroom, you can probably find her nose in a Little House on the Prairie book, or walking the family dog with her teenage daughter and tween son.