We are blessed to be in an elementary school with very involved parents that live nearby. I am proud to brag that when my husband and I were house hunting we researched to find the top three elementary schools in our city. This was forward thinking on our part because at the time they were ages two and six months.
This summer the rumor mill about changes at the school seem to be everywhere when I am within a three-mile radius of the school. I have heard rumors at the dance center, the pool, the grocery store, outside my front door and even church.
The folks involved were not trying to be mean. They are concerned about the school and know my husband and I are involved parents just like them. We are of like minds and they thought by adding one more family to the cause, ones that are not afraid to provide their opinion, we can make a change or in this case, not a change.
When I heard one rumor that made me shudder, I asked the person involved directly. She was surprised that the rumor about her was being circulated. It simply was not true.
I have to feel shame and at the same time proud. I feel shame because I engaged in the activity of gossip. I stood in the grocery store and listen intently to what was being told to me. It is something I really true to stay away from, considering my occupation at a freelance journalist. Fact checking is important to staying professional. I fully believe in this practice.
And since we have a tween daughter, I try to keep her away from gossip because it can be harmful to her and to others. I try to practice what I preach.
At the same time I feel pride because before I told anyone else what I heard, I went to the source. Turns out the grocery store gossip was not true. This relieved me on a couple of accounts.
So a lesson learned for this mom again.