I wrote this one last year sometime and never got around to publishing it. It was written just after all the bruhaha over the shooting at the night club that came hot on the heels of the two kids involved in deadly situations with animals (the gorilla and the alligator). I saw response after response of people that were angry, striking out at others, blaming, fearful and oh so few that were actually compassionate. It was enough to bring the angry mama out in me. Not at the people involved in the situation but at those that were judging it without compassion or real thought. Before I comment on the things bothering me with this years governmental changes, I felt this needed to see the light of day. As much to keep me in perspective as to remind everyone else ; ) So here it is . . . . . . .
Ok, I’m done holding my peace on all the issues I’ve seen popping up the last few weeks. The night club in Florida, the college rape case, the gorilla that was killed to save a child. I’ve read, listened, and tried not to let the bruhaha over them all touch me, but I’m done. Stop blaming. Stop assuming you know. Stop hating and condemning. Start having some love and compassion instead.
Stop trying to blame violence, cruelty, inhuman acts, and horrible choices upon anyone other than the individual who made the decision in the first place. So they’re a Muslim, they have possible ties to terrorists, they had an assault rifle and you believe guns aren’t controlled enough, they claim to be Christian and you believe all Christians are hate mongers, they’re a guy and you believe all guys are inherently violent, there were gay people and so your sure it was a hate crime. HONESTLY! SERIOUSLY! Stop it people! Quit stereotyping, we don’t all fit into your little box.
Do you really know all the details or just what you heard on media? Does the media always give us all the facts? Do you personally know the person that did this and truly know what is in their heart? Does what they believe and chose to do mean everyone that has some similarity to them in beliefs will choose to do the same thing? Will punishing one person or set of people over and over keep someone else from perpetrating the same crime. Will removing the use of one weapon or even all weapons keep people from doing stuff like this . . . NO! USE YOUR BRAIN! Things like this have always happened and will always happen because we live in a broken world.
Does the fact that someone made a mistake (no matter how horrible) mean they deserve your hate, rage, condemnation, and punishment above and beyond what they are already suffering. What good will that do? It won’t change the fact that it’s happened. It won’t undo it. Honestly it’s not even likely to prevent something like this from happening again because no matter how many barriers we put into place, someone will find a way around them. We are ALL human. We all have been given the freedom to make our own decisions. And we will all have to live with the consequences of these decisions.
If you were in their shoes, what would you want? I know I’d want someone to come along side me and care about me in spite of mistakes I’ve made. To have compassion and caring for the person I am inside instead of always focusing on the horrible mistakes I made in my life. Stuff happens and not everyone is equipped to handle it appropriately. I’m not saying that they are not at fault or responsible for the decisions they made. Ultimately everyone is. I am saying have the same compassion and understanding with others (even those that have wronged you) that you wish others to have for you. Make a conscious choice to move this world, one step, one thought, one action closer to what it would be if we ALL decided to love instead of hate.
For those that might be wondering why there’s a LONG gap in my blogging . . . . well I have a fairly simple explanation. I let life distract me ; D While I love to write and share things with people I also have many other passions in my life and I’m not always good at balancing them. My family of course takes priority, when it comes to that were a fairly busy family. We do a lot of activities with my extended family including meals, movies, and helping out with home repair. With the girls I also do martial arts, summer swim team, and were a part of Girl Scouts (at least for one more year). Then there’s church, where I do more than just attend as I’m a childcare volunteer and have a bible study group that meets at my house. Then we recently added a dog rescue group to our list of activities and responsibilities to fulfill my oldest daughters animal loving desires, and incidentally mine too. All of this is on top of my typical ‘House Mom’ and ‘Family Helper’ duties. Then you add my need for relaxation time which includes, games, movies, tv shows, arts and crafts, books, photography etc etc etc. And you can see how easy it is to procrastinate. You should see my poor garden, it’s been neglected about as much as this blog. I promise i’ll try and do better. Really, I’ll Try!
So I had rather a surprise this morning. I managed to help someone I didn’t know just by being somewhere i wouldn’t normally have been. I drove HG in for swim practice this morning, something i normally wouldn’t do but Soccer Mom’s car is being a pain. On the way back home I remembered my girls were wanting something from the library so I swung into the parking lot. It was closed but there was a elderly gentleman, reminiscent of a Santa down on his luck, standing by the sign that said the times. So I parked, rolled the window down and hollered out “What time does it say it’s open?”
He paused for a second and replied “Is today Wednesday?”
“Yes it’s Wednesday.”
He turned back to the sign and responds, “It says 11 am to 8 pm”
I’m thinking, it’s to early and i’m not sitting here for two hours, so I holler back “Thanks, guess i’ll come back latter.”
As I turn back to shift into reverse he says “Do you know where the nearest DMV is?”
“Sure it’s down that direction a ways.” I say as I point down the main drag.
“You sure that’s the closest?” He asks.
“Yes, I’ve lived her for a while and it’s the closest one I know of as I live up that direction.”
“How close is it?” He asks.
“About 10 blocks or so it’s quite a ways.”, I say, noting a look of exhaustion wash over him.
“Do you think you could take me there for a couple of candy bars.” He asks.
I chuckle a bit to myself as I think of accepting candy for a ride when were going in the direction i’d be headed anyways. “How about I take you for free,” I offer. “Grab your stuff and hop in.”
It took him a bit to settle in, and get seat belted but were soon off. I pointed out the landmarks I know as we pass them. I hoped that he’ll be able to find his way back easier that way. We pulled into the busy parking lot of the DMV after a short while.
“So what brought you out this morning?” He asks, as i’m looking for a safe place to let him out.
I stop to think for a bit. I chuckle to myself again and say “I wouldn’t normally have even been out. I helped a friend, stopped at the library for my kids at last minute, and I was in the right place to give you a ride. God works in mysterious ways, right?”
He smiled back and agreed. He also insisted I take a banana and a candy bar even though I tried to insist he could keep them as he probably needed them more than we did. Now i’m sitting here at home with a warm glow, happy to have been able to be God’s helping hand for someone I don’t know. Hope he manages to get home OK. He seemed like such a nice old gentleman. Anybody need a banana and a candy bar?
So we had some fun conversations after I said “everyone” was going to walk/bike with the dogs this afternoon. Everyone meaning my two girls and all the ones I babysit. It became a series of what if’s. One of the bane’s of parenthood. It started off with the standards.
What if . . .
I’m sick? I throw up? I don’t want to go?
And then they started getting good.
What if . . .
I die before we go (Roseleaf)? I guess you’d have to walk along in zombie fashion.
I’m a vampire (HG)? We could duck tape your mouth shut so you don’t bite anyone. But what about the sun? You’d just sparkle (note they don’t much approve of sparkling vampires even though I love Twilight LOL). Not that kind, the kind that burns in the sun. Oh well you’d have to prove it. Wait if I’m an Adventure Time Vampire I could fly!
I’m an Octopus(Foca)? I guess we’d have to give you a tank with wheels. You’d have enough arms to pull yourself along. With a tank she could shoot you(HG). Not that kind of tank!
If your a spy and you got called away on a mission(DQ)? I doubt they’d do that as i’m still recovering from surgery.
You were part of the hunger games(DQ and Foca)? LOL i’m not young enough, fortunately.
A metor fell (DQ)? DQ’s teacher used this one and the kids said Oh cool but the teacher yelled You’d be dead! But walking in a meteor shower sounds like fun, provided I had a meteor shield for an umbrella ; )
John blew you up (their pet creeper on minecraft)(Roseleaf)?. Guess i’d just respawn at home . . tough luck for you ; )
We duck taped you to the wall(Rosebeary and DQ)? Guess you’d find out how mad your mom can get when you don’t listen to her or the babysitter.
I ate to much and exploded(Rosebeary). I’m not sure it’s possible for you to eat to much, you have a hollow leg remember and you eat almost constantly ; )
All the dogs ran away(Rosebeary)? And the bikes went with them(Foca)? You mean the dogs rode the bikes? LOL We could use the car. What if they took the car along with all the phones so you can’t call anyone (HG)? Guess we’d have to run after them, more exercise that way. NOoooooo!(all the kids) LOL
We all became invisible(DQ)? Guess i’d have to hunt you all down using sound and tie you all with balloon strings and drag you along.
The dogs became Dire Wolves(Rosebeary who watched a documentary)? We’d still have to walk them. But they’re hunters and killers we’d be dead. But they’re to well trained for that. But you can’t train something like that, they’re prehistoric. How do you know if you don’t try?
We turn into my little ponies(Foca)? I guess, you’d just have to trot along, at least you’d have four legs to use.
You exploded into millions of tiny little hamsters(Foca)? I guess they’d just have to chase you down the street.
One of us turned into a giant whale and blocked the door(Roseleaf)? I guess i’d have to shoot you with my shrink ray and put you into the tank with the octopus. Where’d you get a shrink ray? Guess from the same place I got the tank with wheels ; D
And they keep on adding them LOL. Including the final one i’m going to close with . .
What if we don’t get enough comments on this page hahahaah (Foca).
I love my kids!
While writing a post the other day about kids being different I found myself going off in a slightly different direction. I suddenly remebered some conversations I’ve had with family and friends about how amazingly different people can be, even when we think they’re just like us. As I sat and thought about it some more I began to realize how much this is at the heart of our disagreements with others.
While you’d think that it was obvious, it’s amazing how many people don’t take into consideration that everyone is different. I’ve run head on into this issue so many times it isn’t funny. I see it in adults, children, men, women, and people of every color. It isn’t age, race, or gender specific. I see it when someone talks about how much better they are at something than another person is. I see it when someone gets frustrated or worried because someone else doesn’t do what they expect. But mostly I see it in the general lack of consideration for or understanding of other people.
When I was younger my initial response to this was, “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was the same.” That was until someone, probably one of my parents, pointed out the error in this thinking. If we were all the same, the world would be too predictable and boring. We’d all be robots, doing and thinking the same things. I’m pretty sure if that were the case the world would not be a happy place ; ) All the amazing tools we have probably wouldn’t exist, because they were created when someone decided to try something different. All the fascinating stories would be gone because of a lack of imagination different than our own. And I’m pretty sure comedy wouldn’t be around either because most of our humor is based on the observation of differences. As for relationships, while it’d be nice to automatically know what the other person was thinking, it would make the relationship less satisfying. Part of the joy in any relationship is the meshing of two different personalities, where the strengths of one bolsters the weaknesses of the other. So while it’d be nice, I personally don’t think it’d be worth it. We should be thankful that everyone is different, because it means we get to fully experience those differences.
So, stop and realize, no one person is exactly the same, inside or outside. Everyone you know learns differently, thinks differently, and understands differently. If they have different families they will have a different environment and even different sets of rules and experiences. Sometimes that’s even true of people in the same family. We may have similarities in looks, rules, environment, families, thoughts, experiences, etc, but that doesn’t mean we are exactly the same.
The lack of acceptance of this fact can do a lot of damage in a relationship of any kind. It can destroy a love relationship, friendship, or even a parent child bond. I’ve seen this and a lack of communication at the root of pretty much every damaged relationship that I’ve encountered. If you can’t accept that the other person is different than you, despite similarities, then how can you hope to understand where they are coming from. Then if you can’t communicate those differences and frustrations, how can you expect anyone else to understand where your coming from, let alone understand them.
So think about the next time someone frustrates or worries you, your parent, spouse, child, or friend. Stop and think about where they’re coming from and try to understand it. Spend the time to talk with them so you can figure out where they’re coming from. You may find out just how different they are ; )
I’m still in shock and disbelief. I talked to him just a few days ago and now . . . well maybe I should start back a bit. Last night, just after dinner I was surprised to have our family chat time disrupted by someone pounding on our front door. I opened it to find my next door neighbor with tears flooding down her face and a phone in her hand, in obvious shock and having a hard time talking. She managed to gasp out some of what happened and the rest I get from the gentleman on the phone that she pushes into my hands. Her husband has collapsed while out with her young son. I immediately tell her I’ll take her and we collect things fast and go.
When we get there we find a med crew busily working over him pumping on his chest. Her son is there and in as much shock as she is though much more quiet. My husband and I do our best to console them and keep on praying but it doesn’t look good. They rush him to the hospital and we follow behind. Making use of cellphones to make sure that her local relatives are going to come join us. But all the prayers and all the tricks in the doctors books cannot restart his heart : ( Dead and so young too, leaving behind a grieving wife and confused son. I can still hear her tortured sobs and screams and can so easily put myself in her shoes. I’m about their age after all.
All I’ve been able to think about all day is them. How are they doing. What are they going to do. One day here’s there and the next he’s gone. And then I begin to think of how I’d feel if it’d had been me in her place. I couldn’t imagine waking up to an empty bed and not having my best friend and lover there to talk to or snuggle with ever again. I imagine the what if’s I’m sure are running through their heads. With all the praying we did I imagine she’s also very angry at God right now. Would I be too or would I be able to accept that this sort of thing just happens? Does she? Will she? Will I if my time ever comes?
It just reminds me all the more how precious each second of our lives are. How we don’t know when our time is going to be up. How important it is to spend time with your family while we have it. How frequently we should say “I love you!” so they know, deep down, even when were gone. How we should be prepared to handle life with half of our heart, soul, self missing. I guess it’s like my husband has said before about dealing with rough times, “Sometimes you have to take it one day, one hour, one minute, or even one second at a time.” I guess the same is true for how we deal with life in general. We need to make each day, hour, minute, and even second count, because . . . it can happen so suddenly.
I had a bit of a surprise the other night. I let Buddy out to go bathroom before bedtime and he started wuffling at something in the backyard. By wuffling I mean he’s doing kind a breathy quiet bark that he does when he’s warning me about something but isn’t defensive yet. I looked out and saw a grayish something about the size of a cat on the grass under the avocado tree that hangs over our neighbors fence. At first I thought it was a cat, but typically cats take off as soon as Buddy starts making noise or when I step outside. This one is stayed absolutely still with it’s face turned our way watching us. It had an air of “You don’t see me, I’m not here” about it.
I took a step closer and called Buddy to bring him back to me as he was inching closer to whatever it was. The last thing I wanted was an emergency vet trip because he tangled with one of the wild critters around here. Thankfully he listened and moved back to my feet and continued to wuffle. I called inside for Handsome to come look and we stood there for a bit to trying and figure out what it was. It definitely wasn’t a raccoon as it didn’t have the dark mask, but a silvery white heartlike face like a Persian cat. I suddenly realized it didn’t have the flat muzzle of a cat but a long narrow tipped muzzle and then it slowly shifted and I saw a long rat like tail. We have an opossum visitor!
I shooed Buddy back inside and grabbed a camera and managed to get a few good pictures. I think the flash bugged it or it realized I wasn’t going to attack. It slowly turned and moved to the wall, scampered along it, up the stairs to the garden, climbed up between two of our compost bins to the fence and ran along the back wall. The next morning I saw a half eaten avocado on the lawn. In fact my mom pointed out that if you look close you can see it in the picture above. That would explain what’s been taking them up onto the fence or wall to chow down on them LOL. I keep finding pits and half eaten remains out there ; )
One of the things that makes me cringe the most is when I hear a parent comparing their child with another one. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in a negative or positive light it still makes me wonder what issues will surface latter because of it. It makes me want to jump in and remind every parent that every single child is different. Each one of them learns differently, thinks, and understands differently. They may have different, families, environment, rules, and experiences. Sometimes that’s even true of children that are in the same family. I’ve had to learn this with both of my girls, despite their similar backgrounds, they are two very different kids. And it doesn’t stop there. Each one of the kids whose lives touch mine has their own quirks and personalities.
Most of the comparisons that I see occur when they are infants. Parents worry when a child takes a bit longer to crawl, walk, or talk. They worry when a child doesn’t eat as much or maybe even eats more than another child’s kid. They worry when their child gets more sleep or less sleep than another child does. They worry when their child is smaller and skinnier or sometimes even chubbier than other children. Please, from one parent to another, stop worrying! Every child is different. Yes, sometimes there are issues with these things, but the doctors test for a lot of these and they will ask questions from you at the well check visits so please stop worrying. The milestones that they give you are really ranges not specific times. Take it from a parent that’s seen it, sometimes a child just decides to take longer, for whatever reason. Sometimes their genetics just make them smaller, skinnier, hungrier, or sleepier. Over all, if your child is healthy, active, and responsive then they are perfectly OK. Worrying about it only causes harm, to yourself and potentially the kids if you spend to much time fussing over it ; )
But it’s not just in little kids that I see parents making this mistake. As kids grow up you have to deal with each one of them differently too. Rewards or punishments that work for one, may not work for another, and even that may change over time. Some learn by watching others or taking advice to heart, while some have to learn the hard way, by suffering the consequences of a bad decision all on their own. Some are quiet and reserved and you have to draw them out. Others are so chatty and boisterous that you know exactly where they’re coming from. Some are perfect angels you can trust with anything. Others are little hellions that seem to create havoc without even trying. Some are people pleasers and others are stubbornly independent (mule headed). Some will need help every step of the way through school. Others will breeze through without you needing to say or do anything. Some will be calm and collected and while others are drama queens. Some are well organized and neat, needing very few reminders. Others may work by pile management or stuffing things in dark corners and need to be taught, repeatedly, how much easier it is to do it right the first time. And on and on and on.
While you can sometimes get lucky and use the same techniques on every child you deal with, you should always be aware of who that child is and what they need. Sometimes this means one child will need more of something than another, deal with it. Each child is different and sometimes “being fair” cannot enter into the equation. So, if something isn’t working then try a different approach, one geared to what you know about this child. After all it makes absolutely no sense to try the same thing over and over if it isn’t working. It’s like my husbands favorite quote that he uses on the girls from time to time, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein. Or maybe you prefer the more down to earth version our pastor uses “If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
Keep in mind, your not alone. I always feel it’s important to keep an open mind and at least listen to other parents too. You never know when something they’ve been through will help you out too. At the very least it helps to know that your not the only parent that goes through troubles with their kids. Commiserating with each other is often the only way to keep your sanity. And for those of you that get upset over getting advice from someone else, please remember, advice is not a commandment. You are not required to do everything that they tell you too, far from it. If you think it’ll work give it a try, if not then don’t worry over it. After all, every parent has their own skill sets, comfort levels, beliefs, etc. If you think about it, each of us parents are different too ; )
The other day our extended family shared a good laugh over dinner. Mom had picked up one of our favorite family meals, A large party tray of California Rolls from our local sushi bar. She also shared this great story of how she picked it up ; D
Mom was greeted at the door by a young man who quickly rattled off “Sushibarortable”.
Despite it being fast and run together she figured it out pretty fast and responded with “Takeout.”
The young man looked a bit confused and repeated, very slowly “Sushi bar or table.” Obviously he thought she didn’t understand him the first time.
With a slight grin she responded, just as slowly and drawn out as him “Take Out.”
“Ohh!” he mumbled, as he rans off to one of the lady servers to ask what to do. She directed him to where to get the tray. Mom glanced around and realized she wasn’t the only one that was amused, the couple seated nearby were as well and they all shared a chuckle.
The young man came back out carrying only a small bag, but before he could quite make it out to Mom the other server intercepted him, pointed back the way he came and said firmly “All of it!” he scurried back to get the large tray of rolls too.
More chuckles came from the couple and my mom shrugged and said “What can you do?”
After a good giggle, it left me thinking. Not only does help need training before they can be good at what they do, but English can be a formidable thing to learn. Even those of us that have lived with it our entire lives don’t usually master it completely. America has an amazing amount of people that speak broken English. No one group of us, even those of us that have lived here for generations, is free of the misuse of our language. Not that it’s really a surprise. If you think about it, American English is such a mix of so many different languages, that there are usually more exceptions to it than there are rules. Then add slang, dialects, phrases, accents, etc and our language can get very confused very quickly. I guess you could say were all responsible for breakn Engrish.
I grew up in a large city, around multiple large ethnic groups, none of them white in any sense of the word. You could seriously say whites were a minority in my neighborhood. No i’m NOT being racist. Far from it. I love the fact that we have so many different cultures, ideas, and foods to sample. America is an amazing hodge podge mixture of cultures, beliefs, and language. Some of my friends and a number of my classmates, spoke English as a second language or Engrish as some of them pronounced it ; ) I enjoyed each and every one of them and learned to respect them as well. When you grow up together you not only learn what your teachers and parents are telling you, you learn from your peers as well. I learned never to judge who someone was on the inside by what they looked like, or sounded like, on the outside. Even those that struggled with English, were absolutely amazing in other areas.
Needless to say I learned a lot about other cultures and how different they can be. I also learned how to interpret broken or mauled English. It’s really not that hard if you really take the time to listen to them. Within a few sentences you can usually figure out what letters or words are modified and then ask for clarification of what they’re saying if you’re not sure. It’s like putting together the parts of a puzzle. You fill in each gap and if you’re patient you can see the whole picture. I seriously believe, if more of us were patient enough to truly listen, the world might be an easier place to live in.
One of my many boy cousins posted something rather bizarre recently on Facebook. He thanked his parents for getting their Brown Chicken Brown Cow on a score, x years, and 9 months ago. Being curious and confused by it, I asked what he meant by Brown Chicken Brown Cow. Knowing most of the guys in my family I figured it was code for something. Then I got a few posts further down and realized everyone was posting Happy Birthday’s on his wall.
At this point a lightbulb goes off and I realize what the 9 months means. So I go back to his post. By this time there are already a few responses to my question “Say the words slowly”, “Think music”, “I love your naivete!” And my brain makes another leap Brown Chicken, Brown Cow = Bow Chica, Bow Wow or the base beat to a certain music that often goes along with certain ummm . . supposedly private scenes ; D And of course he even posts a link to a YouTube video, with puppets and a Brown Chicken Brown Cow song * rolls her eyes *.
It all left me sitting there thinking to myself, Am I really that naive? Well yes and no. It’s not that I can’t think along those lines. I just usually don’t. So that left me thinking, so why not? Why don’t I immediately get jokes along those lines.
Maybe it’s because I don’t have a naughty sense of humor? LOL yeah right! I grew up around too many guys for that to be a possibility. My dad alone was quite capable of educating me. Then add my brother and the all my boy cousins. Yeah, there’s no way I’d not be able to recognize or understand a naughty joke.
Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a prude? After all, I was never much interested in guys except as friends. I mean not that they weren’t exciting, I just didn’t let my mind go that way. The last thing I wanted was to end up with the wrong guy or pregnant before marriage. After all, I didn’t date till I met my husband in college, and he was my one and only boyfriend. So, possibly that’s why, but I’m not entirely a prude either.
I’ve shocked a few people in my lifetime. You can ask a few of my friends, especially the High School ones. I remember having them stare at me in shock when something humorously naughty came out of my mouth. They even used to tease me about how bad an influence they were on me, or that one or the other of them was corrupting me. Then there are the people I worked with, back when I actually “worked” for a living LOL. I shocked a few guys there once or twice. I remember a particular group of them that were all chatting and oblivious to the fact that I had come through the door. One of them told an off color joke and I started laughing. The look of shock on some of their faces and worry on others (I assume about sexual harassment charges) made me want to laugh more. I quickly reassured them that I always enjoyed a good joke and not to worry about being quiet around me, even if it was a bit naughty.
So maybe it’s because I’m a mom and I’m constantly around kids. Maybe I just don’t get a lot of naughty adult exposure. Well except in making said kids with my hubby (or practicing too make them ROFL). When the kids are around, I’m constantly reminding others to be aware of what they’re saying, doing, and watching. So maybe I am sort of naive when it comes to phrases and jokes like that. I’ve spent so much time trying hard not to expose my kids to my naughty humor that I usually don’t think that way. But then again . . there are times I do. If you don’t believe me ask my husband. He’s the one that hears of most of my naughty sense of humor. If it tickles my funny bone I have to share it with someone and better him than the kids.
But I do have to admit, it’s VERY hard sometimes. Especially when the girls are the ones that make me think of it. Like when the kids were messing around with their Halloween outfits and Rosebeary is hitting Roseleaf with her cat tail and yelling “Kitty Whip, Kitty Whip, your Kitty Whipped”. I’m sitting there practically choking on my laughter because my brain is thinking of another word for Kitty and I’m trying desperately not to spout it out in front of the kids. Especially now that Roseleaf is old enough to understand it. Guess it won’t be long before I’ll be educating them in naughty humor like Dad did for me LOL.