It’s no secret I am a huge Thunder fan. I watched as that team left everything they had including their pride out on that court. I sat there close to tears as the final few seconds led to the end of the game. They played their hearts out. They gave it their all but last night just wasn’t their chance to shine. I went to bed wondering how they must have been feeling knowing they not only let themselves down but also disappointed so many amazing fans. What would it be like to have to come back home and look everyone in the eye that was counting on them to bring home a win. My heart hurt just thinking about it and I hoped Oklahoma would embrace them with loving, open arms.
An announcement popped up on my phone that there would be a live broadcast of Thunder arriving home. What I saw was beautiful. There were hundreds of fans waiting to greet them as they chanted O-K-C. The players looked at the crowd with disbelief and shared a moment of Oklahoma love. That is how it is supposed to be. When someone is hurting, we volunteer to carry some of the pain. When someone is down and out, we do our part to build them back up. I am so proud of what I witnessed today. More of this, that’s what we need. So much more of this…
We have more control than we think. If only it was easier to silence the mind.
The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.
Shannon L. Alder
I fight every single day to look for a reason to believe in people. I search for even an ounce of kindness, support, encouragement, and compassion. I just can’t believe the direction we have taken lately. I have seen so many opinionated comments going back and forth on Facebook over this horrific zoo story. As a mother myself, who I admit has lost my children from time to time, I sympathize with this mother. I am nowhere close to being a perfect parent or a perfect person. I am a human being wrapped in flaws and continuing to make ongoing mistakes. I am hard enough on myself so how dare anyone else point a finger at me when I already have one pointed at myself. My point is, a gorilla died. It is tragic and unfortunate but I can only imagine how terrified and devastated this mother was as this scene unfolded. If it wasn’t horrific enough, now we join together as one voice to sign a petition in hopes of bringing criminal charges or some type of investigation against the parent who never imagined her day at the zoo would turn out like this. Were those 15 minutes of hell not punishment enough? Who do we think we are that we have to criticize, blame and punish…yes punish someone from making a mistake. We will make her pay. Seriously? Will that bring the gorilla back? Will it undo the unfortunate fall that little child had to endure. Maybe we should beat the child. Yes, I actually saw comments that if the child had the fear of God or knew he’d get a beaten then he never would have wandered off in the first place. Are you kidding me? Can these people making these comments actually have kids? God only knows I have taken my eyes off of my children before. Damn I’m not proud but seriously, don’t we all have moments when we screw up or make an honest mistake? I want to hug this poor mother because I’ve felt the fear of losing a child. I shudder as I remember even though it is years in the past. Guess what? I even had people blame me for my daughter having a 30 minute seizure. I’ve been that parent who didn’t realize my child had a high fever. It still hurts to remember. I drove 3 hours to a hospital not knowing if my child was dead or alive because they took her by helicopter to another hospital. That was the longest, scariest ride of my entire life and I’ve never been the same. Being a parent is an endless, exhausting job and we do the best we can can Guess what? Shit happens and beating ourselves up or getting beat up by someone else about it does not change a single thing. These people who judge, are they better? Are they perfection disguised in a human body? I just cannot believe that we have a more critical crowd than a compassionate one. Can’t we for one small, single second put ourselves in someone’s shoes and maybe feel a little tug on our hearts instead of our mouths and egos. Why do we have to blame anyone at all? Isn’t the situation devastating enough?
I’m feeling really grateful today. It’s been a long tough school year and today is finally the last day. We can finally let it go, leave it behind and finally move on. There is a ridiculous amount of information these kids are expected to learn in school. It’s almost like middle school and high school classes are almost equivalent to my college classes and sometimes the kids don’t have the maturity or comprehension to understand the depth of the information.
My daughter had one particular teacher who has taught her more than any other. He is a stand out and I am grateful she had the opportunity to be in his class. Throughout the year he has offered several opportunities to improve your grade separate from the excessive tests that seem to be an obsession in our schools today. If he told them he would have a paper graded by a certain date and he didn’t follow through, they would get extra credit. He taught them by example to be accountable by putting himself on their level and holding himself to the same standard.
The truth is, we have come to believe we are here to judge people. We feel obligated to label people and force our beliefs and lifestyle on the ones around us. If they don’t obey, we feel the need to punish and make an example of them. I say we are not here to teach people lessons at all. We are here to love, support and lift people up. When we can help, lending a hand to someone in need is one of the nicest lessons we could ever pass on.
Today my daughter forgot her physics packet. She is not the compassionate type and is resentful I do so much to help her younger brother in school. She really believes I should back off and let him fall on his own behind. Today though she asked me to bring her the packet she left at home. I could have thrown her own attitude right back in her face but I didn’t. I drove that paper right over and you know why? People make mistakes. We forget things no matter how responsible we think we are. Who am I to think I need to teach her a lesson? When she came out to the car, she handed me a token for a free drink at Sonic. Her teacher had sent it out to me as a thank you for driving her paper across town. Did she learn a ton of physics in there this year? Probably not but what she did learn was one good deed deserves another and that kindness really does count. There are no words for the gratitude I feel toward this man. That is the kind of lesson parents only hope our children will learn in school. All’s well that ends well and if this is the last and only thing she will ever learn from her junior year, I am extremely grateful.
Some lessons are not fun to learn. The ones that painfully come along with parenting really take the cake. Sometimes we raise kids who are not like us. We can set the most perfect example and still we find ourselves with a child who is everything we try not to be.
I don’t take responsibility lightly. At every corner I see person after person who cannot seem to function on their own. There is always someone to make excuses for and rescue the one who no matter how hard he tries, just cannot not take care of or rescue himself. It’s everywhere I look. My children, friends children, parents, even teachers. We demand perfection from other people yet most of us cannot even begin to deliver a morsel of perfection from ourselves.
There is a critical moment in a lifetime when you reach a crossroad that requires careful balance. It’s that lesson you must teach that requires a fine line into helping someone become more accountable and at the same time not making them feel like a disappointment. The truth is we are all a disappointment at one time or another. What I’ve learned is that being a disappointment to another human being is difficult but finally admitting you’re a disappointment to yourself is necessary to bring about ant change in a better direction. You cannot change for anyone else. You have to make a change for yourself.
As a parent, from the second that baby grows inside your body, you feel protective. You feel this intense desire to keep your child safe. Then there comes a time where it’s necessary to cut the lifeline and let the child learn on his own. It’s excruciating and goes against every motherly instinct so how do you do it? How do you step back and pray to God that your own child picks up his own slack so the he doesn’t hang himself with his own rope? How do you stand by and know that child is so much more than he appears to be but has to cross the next bridge all on his own? Yeah it’s hard being a parent sometimes. Maybe all the time.
I put so much time and effort into writing a post this morning. All of a sudden the site crashed and that post I worked so hard on was gone. I am trying my best to stop reacting to everything that happens and choose how I respond. I could throw a fit and frantically try to write the post again or I can simply say, oh well and move on. I have to stop believing that bad things always happen to me and remember that sometimes things happen. It has nothing to do with me. The world is actually NOT conspiring against me even if I want to believe it is. This is a reminder that sh!$ happens. You can either lie down and roll around in it or step over it and move on. I say move on. Happy Monday!
Today I’m sitting in Starbucks drinking a nice hot latte. I used to come here by myself all the time to unwind and relax. I’m not sure why I gave it up. On a day like this, it’s nice to be in a place where there is nothing to do. Nothing to clean, no responsibilities, no nothing. Just sitting here with a drink in my hand, free of thought is a therapy I had almost forgotten. We all need an escape sometimes. We need a place to go where we can simply just be. It feels fantastic. I hope you find a moment to yourself today to regroup and re-energize. It’s hard to remember to take care of yourself when you’re always busy worrying and taking care of others.