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Posted on Aug 2, 2019

Letter to the editor: How about a welcome?

How about a welcome?
Dear Small-Town Momma,
I see you, glaring at me from the other end of the grocery store. Wondering who I am? What am I doing here? Why am I here? I see you. This isn’t my first rodeo. This isn’t my first time living in a small town. I have actually lived in smaller. I knew what to expect. I knew I would run into you. I knew you would glare. And I knew it would hurt.
I do my “big city” wave and you realize you have been caught glaring. And like before my heart sinks, my eyes start to water. I remind myself I am better, I know better, but Dear Small-Town Momma, your rudeness hurts. It hurt in the other small towns and it hurts now.
When my family moved here a year ago, I prayed for friends. I prayed this new small town would be like another small town I lived in, in Iowa. That small town welcomed me with open arms. The Mommas there took me in and cared for me and loved me. I was hoping and praying for that, but you’re just like the other small towns I have lived in. Rude, callous and unfriendly. And that breaks my heart, not just for me, but for my 3-year-old son.
I can handle the glaring and rudeness, I can suck it up and move on, but my 3-year-old does not understand your rudeness. He doesn’t understand your child being rude to him and pushing him away. You see Small-Town Momma, your child sees you glaring, they see you not welcoming new friends into your circle. Your child sees and does the same thing. How sad is that?
So, dear Small-Town Momma, the next time you are at the grocery store, swimming pool or local restaurant and you see a new Momma, think about what your child is seeing you do. We have enough unkind people in the world, don’t raise another one.
Big town, very small town, small town, small town, medium town and current small-town Momma
Shannon Ites,