We all make assumptions.
I watch my boys getting off the bus in the afternoon, one carrying Owen’s backpack and the other carrying Owen, and I assume my 5-year-old was snoozing.
I observe a mom pull into the parking lot, studiously avoiding eye contact with everyone, her dark hoodie pulled up over her head and I assume the morning got away from her and there was no time to run a comb through her hair.
I get handed a test with a big D on it and I assume my son didn’t bother to study.
My porch starts to smell like an animal has died in there and I assume it must be so.
I see people walking around in yoga pants and I assume they are about to go workout.
Quite often my assumptions are correct. After a quick look at the sleep creases on his face, it was obvious that Owen did indeed fall asleep on the long bus ride. After my son received “the look” from over top of the science test, it all came pouring forth about forgetting to bring home his science binder to study from. And though I’ll never know for certain, I’m confident that the woman from the parking lot, who I’ve seen often enough looking primped and polished, had a case of bed-head rather than sporting a new gothic look.
And then there are the assumptions that are just plain wrong. Nothing died in my porch, it was just a combination of wet socks, sweaty gym strip, and old lunches stuffed into the bottom of a backpack. And yoga pants do NOT necessarily indicate a workout. They have somehow managed to climb their way from attire reserved for the gym or the privacy of home, to a staple in women’s wardrobes, rivaling socks, or underwear.
Because of our propensity to be wrong from time to time with our assumptions, I am working toward making less of them. I have been on both ends of wrong assumptions. It can be a little hard to back-track when you get the blank stare from a yoga pant wearing woman after you’ve just asked her where she plans to go for her run. But it’s equally tongue tying when you introduce your children to someone for the first time and they stare down the line at my multicultural bunch and say “Oh..*long pause*.. I thought you gave birth to five boys.” Assumption. Or after an international student has said farewell to the class following a year of living in Canada and you overhear your son having to answer for the hundredth time “When do you have to go back home?”
So when you hear a good Dutch name like “Brrrrandsma,” don’t assume you’ll meet a blond-haired, blue-eyed, tall Dutchman. There are many of those out there, but the Brandsmas that come from my house, are short and tall; dark skinned and freckled; brown, green, and blue eyed; and not one of them is blond!!