Well, Did I REALLY Do That?

Please, don’t shoot me… 

The title could be just a wee bit misleading. 

I can tell you right now that I may not even tell you what I did. But, it’s to protect the ‘innocent’ – no, not me. I need not plead the 5th – ha, this time.

I guess this is one of those parental confessions, or something like that. I just read an email a little bit ago, which was in response to a required and requested email that I sent. Not that I wanted to, I was doing just fine staying in the back seat on this one. But, the parental, ” yea, I do know what’s going on” was necessary. 

In actuality, the email was as much of a chance for me to support someone’s decision, which was well within the rights of a legal adult, as anything ‘required’. 

But wow, when the response came, with a ‘Thank you very much for your email…’, something happened. It’s like someone flipped a switch, for the second time this week. Suddenly, all the talk, and what was floating in cyberspace, was now a reality. Oy…..  I guess it’s kind of like when the divorce papers come in the mail, and the reality of it’s finality is sitting in your hands. (NO NOT MINE!!)

And here I am, one more time, finding I’ve done something I’d have never thought I’d go along with, well, not until a couple of years ago.

I grew up in a time where the playbook was quite clear, every play well rehearsed with little deviation in expectations that it will be run, like clockwork, just the way it’s always been, generation after generation. But looking back at the family history, I wonder why I would think such things. It seems we’ve always done things that were not necessarily upholding the status quo. Maybe that’s why I do not enjoy living in a box; do not do well trying to live up to others standards and expectations. So, why should I have been surprised that my children would be any less so? Ha!

So, once again, the norm for the day has now flown out the proverbial window, and we trod the path less traveled. 

I am though, yet again, astounded and even a bit stunned that I would go along with the flow of that which is out of the norm. Hopefully, there won’t be too big of an uproar, but hey, it wouldn’t be the first time. But sometimes, we just have to do what we have to do. 

Parenting is not a paint by the numbers or step 1,2,3 process, as much as we would like to try to make it be. Children are persons, each with their own unique personalities, make-up, learning styles, giftings, tolerances, etc. etc. etc. I had to learn very early on, that what worked for one, rarely worked for another, sometimes not even twice in a row for the same one. I didn’t think I’d ever get the hang of this parenting thing. We even had this thing called ‘life’ throw in it’s own set of wrenches on a regular basis. 

By the time the 4th one rolled on in, I actually thought I’d gotten it figured out. Then school came around and ‘life’ and it got a little harder. By the time she was a teen, I was like, OMG, the 4th teenager around, and I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I AM DOING, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME!!! For the answer, see previous paragraph, multiplied to account for age differences. OOOOOOOOOOOH and then there’s that other element NO ONE WARNED ME ABOUT. How to ‘raise adult children’. Seriously, someone should write a book on that… No, not me… I still didn’t figure it out, obviously – I failed! Over and over and over again!! But then again, maybe I could write a book on all the things you DON’T want to do. haha.

I can pretty much guarantee I’ve won a few worst parent of the year awards, and possible ‘bad parent’ opinions and judgements along the way. But, I’ve learned way too well in recent years, that parenting is so much easier when you are not the one in the middle dealing with things. When you are not the one deciding which battles need to be fought, which ones need to sit on a shelf for another time, and which ones need to be cleared from the books forever and ever; it all looks black and white and quite simple and obvious. Well it’s not.

Especially when you throw in the mix, that every generation is different. With each generation, society changes a bit, or a whole lot. When I was a teen, if you’d have told me values in the world around us would be where they are today, I never would have believed you, not this soon anyways. Technology presents it’s own issues. Morals or lack thereof their own set of standards and troubles are present more than ever. OH, if a parent even thinks about standing on the moral ground and values they grew up on, OH MY! We’re just out of touch, old fashioned, hypocritical, judgmental and the list goes on and on. 

So, we wait, for the magic decade that finally comes, when it is finally understood that the hard decisions that were unpopular and unpleasant, which spoiled everyone’s fun, are seen as protective love and who knows, maybe even wisdom. I’ve let go of battle lines, and made decisions I NEVER thought I’d go along with – realizing, hoping, and praying – while young people make their own mistakes, their own bad decisions – praying the price will not be too devastating or that they will not stray too far for return. [I should add here though, none of them are bad, miscreants, criminals etc – just on their own paths!] I never wanted to create out and out rebellious teens and make things worse. Put them on a long leash, and lovingly tug once awhile, well, that’s another story…

The hardest thing I think a parent may ever do (and do it fairly often) – is to let go, sometimes, completely. Even when you know that you know, that you know you should be hanging on for dear life – but it would only make things worse. Even when it’s hurts like hell while your heart is literally tearing in two. You love them enough to let them go, hopefully also trusting The One who will never let go, Who’s sight they are never out of, Who’s reach is never too short. 

And we go with it, whatever it is at the moment. We steer when we can steer. We cut off at the pass what we can. We remove or place as many hurdles as we possibly can at times we need to. We do our best. We succeed, and we fail. But most of all, we love them, with everything we have. And sometimes, we find ourselves doing what we never thought we would, not in a million years. No, I’m not talking about illegal or immoral things – although, it could mean loving them anyhow, if they do them – even when they know better. 

Each one is unique and fearfully and wonderfully made (and so are we), each with a path laid out just for them…

And yeah… I really did do that… 

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Time to Be Still…

It just seems to be one of those days…

This month has just flown by. But considering that I’ve been running about a 100 miles per hour most of the month, it should have. Now, finally with a couple of days to ‘slow down’, it seems like someone just slammed on the brakes and I’m watching everyone fly on by. (Ok, so after several days spent on freeways, the highway analogy just seems to make sense)

It’s not like I don’t need the ‘brake’ (aka break). It’s not like I don’t even need the rest. To be honest, I really don’t feel all that well at the moment – highway pollution combined with hot weather and an air conditioner on the fritz will do that. We’re even down to one vehicle since the truck ended the journey quite lame, so as he uses mine to do what he needs to do, I’m not going anywhere anyhow. 

Looking around at the chaos that was left over from the moving of my daughter and granddaughter 800 miles away, a huge double graduation / bon voyage party and getting behind at home due to the jammed schedule – it’s not like this isn’t the most perfect time to be getting caught up. So why do I feel like I’m in a strange funk? Almost as if something is wrong? Like I’m missing something, or missing out on something?

Fortunately – I’ve been here often enough to recognize there’s a shift. Whether it’s in the spiritual atmosphere around or within, or if it’s just the adjustment period after the rush or the absence of the presence of two loved ones who were well due to be out on their own, or even all of the above: I don’t know, but I know all will be well. It is in these times, that I need to just be still. To slow down. To not make any major life decisions or come to any hasty conclusions. It’s time to just be still. Be quiet in spirit and mind, and somewhat body. It’s time to just shhhh. Carry on with what needs to be done, one task at a time, and wait it out. It doesn’t usually take all that long for the equilibrium to come back and level out. 

So with peace in the waiting, yep, I’m just going to be still. Take a few deep breaths, let them out and let peace reign, trusting in the One who watches over and leads and guides. I’m not going to try to meet anyone’s expectations, or try to make an impression or impact (as not going to try to prove anything or give into performance). I’m not going to judge the situation or the people around me. All is well, and this too shall pass. It could so very well be, that it’s just another threshold of transition.

We shall see, we shall see… it’s just one of those days…

Oops.. I did it again…

I knew I shouldn’t have done it. But I did.. oops, now here I am, again, having sat at the computer past my ‘allotted time’. And as for being on the blog, yikes, I was only going to check to see if this week’s photo challenge had been posted yet. But, there were a few notifications (hmmm sounds alot like FB… notifications, good links to check out, articles to read, videos to watch… translation=time!) and one of them was a blog I don’t think I’d checked out until today.

So here I am writing once again. My heart is not really that heavy, I’m not really feeling all that sad or depressed, and yet, I think I could sit down and cry. The post was a question regarding the start up of a parenting go-to blog. “Was it necessary” or a “good idea”? Heck yeah! 🙂  Kudos to this mom. She was drafted (though it may look more like she was drug into) into the darker side of the world of todays teens. I almost qualified that statement to American teens, but then I remembered, I’ve talked to a few and they were not American. 

This mom, has been introduced to the nightmare toooooo many teens and children call life. EVERYDAY life. Some are bullied – mostly by their peers, but too often also by the very people who they’re supposed to look up to or be protected by. That in itself is a created nightmare – one that is pretty much inescapable. Some live in what we would normally consider abusive situations. Some live with more pressure than their young minds and innocent hearts were created to deal with. In short… pain. These young people live with too much stress and heartache and it produces pain. The pain is real. The pain, too often becomes just too overwhelming. 

That pain begins to have a life of it’s own, and one does either everything they can to feed it, or kill it and almost always, hide it – especially from those who love them. None of these are helpful, nor healthy and only lead to an increase of more and more pain and the by products thereof. 

I will not belabor this any further, it needs no glorification. But it is real, and it’s past time that is known. People need compassion and to treat each other at the very least humanely, regardless of age. 

In anycase… KUDOS to the mom who wrote this post, and in the midst of her own dealings, had the overriding view that in the process, people could get together and help one another. It sure is a lot more productive than just expressing our hurts, fear, frustrations etc.  Good for her. Good for her, and those like her. 

We have no idea, just what deep reserves we each have, way down deep within us, that can be called upon to do great and awesome things, just when we least expect it. 🙂