Saturday, February 26, 2011

Protesting Starts At Home

It's been all over the news lately that union workers are protesting at the state house against the right to work legislation and it seems republicans are very in favor of it.  I don't know enough about the right to work or collective bargaining to have much of an opinion, what I do know is that my aunt who is in favor of all things liberal seems to be pro union, pro collective bargaining, and anti right to work.  That alone is almost enough reason for me to say "go, right to work!"  I'm pretty sure, politically, if she's for it I'm against it.

Funny enough, this is the person I turn to for all of my big decisions in life.  I call her when I'm having a crisis of faith, I call her when I'm having a break down, I've called her after midnight (more than once) to ask "emergency" medical questions, and I call her to share most all of my happy and sad news.  She's an amazing prayer warrior, she's the best therapist ever (worth every penny!) she's one of the most hospitable people I've ever known, a delicious cook, a great friend, and a true blessing in my life.  Unfortunately, she's a democrat!  ugh!  (eye's rolling now!)  I guess no one's perfect.

But, I digress...yesterday on the news the tea party showed up to anti protest (I guess) the unions at the state house and one man (a tea partier) made an "L" on his forehead (way to stay classy TP!) and the other man (union worker) lunged after him (go get em tiger!)  The police broke it up quickly but I don't understand how two sides who (probably) both think they want what's best and are both convinced they are right can be so far apart.  It's really kind of frightening.

This, however is infuriating!  I may not have the answers but I know you don't take you ball and go home just because you're losing the game.  The fact is, republicans took control of the house by being voted in!  The majority on Indiana wants republicans in charge, so they are!  The republicans are pushing for this right to work bill, among other things, and the dems didn't like it so they left!  Are you freaking kidding me?!?  Man up, cast your vote, admit you've lost, tuck your tail, and SUCK IT UP! 

I will say, for any democrat lurkers (Dane!) that the democrats don't own this one, republicans have done it too.  Admittedly, if I were a democrat I might feel differently right now, but this all seems like children's games to me.  Like, maybe we have a bunch of cry babies in office? (yes!  spoiled children on BOTH sides!)  This is another time when I admit, I don't have the answers but I know staying holed up in Illinois isn't one of them!
So, with all that said, I know I don't have the answers but this has still infuriated me!  I've had days where I didn't agree with my coworkers, but if I'd left I would have lost my job.  Not to mention, I disagree with Hadley & Lydia (even Keith) all the time but if I walked out and left the state I'd get in BIG trouble!  ha!

This blogger is amazing!  I'm loving this blog!  I can't wait til I have time to sit down and dig in!  He/she seems to have great opinions on all things politcal!

I've been ranting and raving about these issues for awhile, and when Hadley asked about it I explained it to her and Lydia by saying, these are supposed to be two parts of one team who work together but instead it's turned into two teams who act like big crybabies just to prove their point.
Tonight at bedtime Lydia said "I'm not going to bed tonight, I'm going to stand right here on the stairs and protest!"

I think they got it!
Lesson learned from today, protesting starts at home!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Maybe I'm Not a Republican, After All...

I'm having a political identity crisis! 

I'm NOT a democrat!  I want to make it super clear that I'm NOT a democrat so I'm going to say it one more time, I'm NOT a democrat!

Now, that we've cleared that up!

I'm continually disgusted with party alignment.  I have no true allegiance to a political party, I just want to hold onto to the great things our amazing country was founded on.  The government is nearing a screeching halt because our two political parties refuse to agree on anything.  They are so loyal to their "party" names that they can't see beyond them to what might actually be the best answer.  I agree that we need some serious budget cuts, in my house when we have bills that need to be paid, we make cuts.

The cuts are nevertheless wide-ranging. According to the proposal, Republicans want to cut the following: 
-- $169 million from nuclear energy 
-- $593 million from the Internal Revenue Service 
-- $74 million from the FBI 
-- $379 million from NASA 
-- $544 million from international food aid grants 
-- $6 million each from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities 
-- $2 billion from job-training programs 
-- $1 billion from the National Institutes of Health 
-- $224 million from Amtrak 

I don't know about you, but I'm all for cutting IRS funding!  woo hoo! 

But seriously, budget cuts hurt but we can't keep digging ourselves into poverty.  It has to stop somewhere.  Honestly, I don't know if these particular cuts are the answer, I'll leave that to someone who's smarter than me to determine but somethings got to give, somewhere.  Republican's need to quit pushing for the sake of pushing and democrats need to quit fighting it for the sake of disagreeing.  It's ridiculous!  Perfect example!  I don't know who's right or who's wrong.  I'm leaning towards blaming everyone!

One thing is sure, I'm not a democrat but maybe I'm not a republican either...Can we start the Ronald Reagan Party?  I could get on board with that!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Carmel PD Strikes Again!

I was so excited to share this that I had to turn American Idol off so I could blog about it! 

Keith left around 8:15 to get a hair cut and I told him to get some diet cokes too, I can't get my stroke fast enough!  ha!  Anyway, during this time both kids got out of bed with a myriad of complaints as to why they shouldn't be in their beds.  I finally got 50% of our children in bed (Hadley) and the phone rang.

"well, I had something interesting happen just now," Keith hem haw's around.

I'm getting mildly nervous, but also irritated by his slow pace (nothing new, he is just like Hadley, two speeds-slow and stop!)

"I just got pulled over and got a ticket..."

Internally, I'm screaming "SU WEET!" after he gave me heck for my ticket.
Externally, I'm much more supportive "what happened honey?"
Internally, I'm chanting "speeding ticket!  speeding ticket!"

"well, you know how I got that letter that my registration is expired? I've been trying to email and they said I have to go in...well, turns out my car isn't registered.  Apparently when I bought it they just put my old tag on and it was never registered.  The police man said there's no record of my car at all."

First of all, it took him ten minutes to say what I would have said in three minutes.  Secondly, I was a little bummed that it wasn't a speeding ticket but was livid that it was registration related. 

"What the...why wasn't it registered?  What does the "L" stand for in TTL if they don't actually LICENSE it?"

"I don't know but he said there's no record and for all he knows the car could be stolen..."

Well, I'm calling BS!  If the cop thought it was stolen do you seriously think he'd left it sitting on the side of the road?  I don't know what capabilities these guys really have but, clearly, he knew it wasn't stolen.  Moot point, I know.

Long story short; the officer told him he couldn't even drive it home (less than 3 miles) and had to either leave it in the parking lot or tow it home!  He's going to go to the BMV (yes, Indiana calls it the BMV, not DMV like every where else I've ever lived.) in the morning and straighten this all out.  I'll be calling the dealer and not so politely blaming them for this fiasco!  (just for the record, I'm not asking anyone for their opinions-if you don't think it's the dealers fault, I don't care!  Keep it to yourself! ha!)

Our great friend Jason went to pick Keith up and he's safe and sound on the other end of the couch right now.  When he got home I cautiously asked him how his mood was, he said it was fine and then presented me with a gift!

Oh! Yes! He! Did!  It's a pic of the officer who pulled him over!  Now, he's not as blatant as I was and it's just a reflection but, YAY!  What a wonderful hubby!

The funniest part of all came later...Keith said when the officer came to the officer came to the window he was very authoritative and cautious.
He said, "sir, put your hands on the steering wheel where I can see them." 
So Keith did, then came "do you have any deadly weapons in your car?" 
I can just see Keith raising an eyebrow when he answers, "umm, no..."

Keep in mind that Keith A.) is as harmless as can be!  (this is the same guy I made the blooper real of, last week! So, we know he can barley walk!  What would he do with a deadly weapon?!?) and B.) He drives a PRIUS!  Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

In jest, I say Carmel PD strikes again but I want to make it clear that Keith and I both take responsibility for our interactions (sort of, on Keith's part anyway but it wasn't the police officer's fault) we are thankful for the great work the Carmel PD does!  Seriously, I love that we live in a safe place here; the police don't overlook the little things until they escalate. In the wise words of Barney Fife, "Nip it, nip it in the bud."  Way to go Carmel, but seriously, you're safe from the Richardson's! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Day of My Daughters!

Today has been your average, run of the mill, day in our house and I love it!  I know every one's kids say super cute things and from what I can tell, most kids are pretty similar.  They seem to all like infomercials, they seem to all want to be grown ups (way too soon!) they all seem to like to get into mommy and daddy's things, and they seem to all be the smartest, funniest, and cutest in the world! (just ask their parents!) But, since this is my blog I can spotlight mine!  ha!

Lydia has strep throat and is down and out a big part of the time.  On her up times she runs till she gets herself choked and nearly throws up.  I'm hyper paranoid and have been keeping vigil by her at all times!  To try to combat the run wild times I got the play dough out (always a crowd pleaser!) and we played play dough.  I am not a parent who minds mixing colors and, in fact, I encourage them to play as freely as they like with play dough.  We rolled out three different colors in circles (think small soft taco shells) then stacked them together and rolled them jelly roll style.  I then showed Lydia how to take a plastic knife and slice them into pinwheels.  She thought that was the coolest thing EVER!  (rockstar mommy moment!)  After that she decides to arrange her pinwheels in a plate and "serve" them to me, I obliged and pretended they were the best thing ever.  "mmmm...Lydia these are SO YUMMY!"  and I said many more similar things, when she looks me square in the eye and says, "mommy, they are just pretend, you can't really eat them.  give them to me!"  hahahaha!  Yep, my three year old was worried that I was going to eat all of her play dough!

Yesterday on the way home from the doctor's office Lydia was convinced that a White Castle hamburger would make everything better so I drove thru the drive thru and picked up her burgers.  We made it to the pharmacy when I looked back and she was asleep with her white castle in her hand and her head slumped over.  I'd like to say I thought it was sweet and let her sleep, instead I panicked and began screaming at her to wake up until I scared her to death (and made her really mad!)  She then tells me that she's really tired and is going back to sleep!  (again with her hamburger safely in her hand!)

Hadley came home from school, ravenous, as usual. 
She says "mom, can I have a snack?" 
I reply "sure, there's..."
"mom!  I asked if I can have a snack?!?  I'm starving!" she interrupts,
"I was trying to tell you that there's..."
"MOM!" she interrupts again!
(I'm fighting the urge to yell, not out of anger but pure necessity!  Instead, I just talk faster.
"There's a lunchable in the fridge!"  I say in one breath.
"What's in the pantry?  A lunchable?  Why's it in the pantry?"
Seriously, I need to get this kid checked for hearing loss!
Then she says, "well, why did you say it was in the pantry?'
At that moment I had one of those Ally McBeal hallucinations...I won't describe it, but any mother reading this knows what it was!

A little later she asks if she can go upstairs and watch a movie.  She has fallen in love with Seven Brides For Seven Brothers which is one of my all time favorite movies!  (yay!)  So, naturally I say yes!  She gets about half way up the stairs and I stop her to tell her that her dad is working from home today "in case you hear him you don't have to go see where he is, he's working." I tell her. 
"oh, thanks for telling me, I would have just assumed I was illucination," she replies
"you were what?" I ask
"illucination, I have illucinations a lot"
"you hallucinate?"
"yea, that's what I said, I have allinations all the time!"
I stifle my laughter and ask "what in the world are you talking about?"
"oh, you know, I hear stuff that's not real..."
"no kidding, you don't hear half the stuff I say right at you but you hear stuff that's not real..."

Then she nonchalantly walks upstairs to watch her she didn't just confess to being a crazy person!

Because I'm obsessed with my daughters today, I'm going to share some of my favorite pictures of them so you can see too!

These first two, amazing, pictures are courtesy of Margie Huff Photography, she's amazing!

Hug your babies!  They are a true gift from God!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who Do They Think They Are?

For the past two years I've toyed with the idea of homeschooling.  I'm very anti government and I miss my babies when they are gone.  I've talked to people who've home schooled, I've talked to teachers who've taught in the public school system, and I've talked to teachers who quit teaching to home school their kids.  I've talked til I'm blue in the face!  I've prayed, I've thought, I've written lists, and I've asked God to smack me upside the head with a sign because I just don't know what to do.  Every time something goes wrong (or not my version of right) at school I think it might be my sign then, inevitably, I talk myself out of it.

Last week Hadley brought home a letter from her principal that informed me Hadley has been late to school five days totaling 4.14 hours of lost instruction time and they will "consider proceeding with referral to the Aces Program."  So, I looked up the Aces Program. 

Below are the 23 questions that someone is supposed to judge me on and answer.  Keep in mind,  when reading, that this is because she was tardy 5 days THIS YEAR.  Her reading is above grade level and her math skills are also above grade level, she has been rewarded multiple times for showing "falcon pride" which is basically a good citizenship award.  This program referral was bases solely on tardiness!

Pre-Assessment Questionnaire

Please give an explanation for any “yes” answer.  Thank you for your time!

1.  Is the child doing well in relationships with family?             No             Yes

2.  Is there evidence of problems with functioning in the current living situation?     No    Yes

3.  Is the child performing well in school?             No             Yes

4.  Does the child have positive social relationships?      No              Yes

5.  Does the family have strong relationships and excellent communication?       No      Yes

6.  Does the school work closely with the child and family to identify and successfully address
 the child's educational needs OR does the child excel in school?           No         Yes

7.  Does the child have very stable relationships with family members, friends and community? 
Have those relationships been stable for most of his/her life and are likely to remain so in the foreseeable future?   Is the child involved with both parents?                No           Yes

8.  Does the child have natural supports who contribute to helping support the child's healthy
development?             No             Yes

9.  Do the child and the family speak English very well?                No        Yes
10.  Does the care giver have good monitoring and discipline skills?                            No           Yes

11.  Does the care giver have significant family and friends in their social network that actively
help with raising the child?         No           Yes

12.  Does the care giver have stable housing for the foreseeable future?         No             Yes

13.  Does the care giver have mental health needs?         No             Yes

14.  Does the care giver have substance abuse needs?    No             Yes

15.  Does the care giver have problems with impulse, distractible or hyperactive behavior that
places the child at risk of future functioning difficulties?          No             Yes

16.  Does the care giver have a history or suspicion of depression or mild to moderate depression
associated with a recent negative life event with impact on life domain or functioning?                                                                                                                                                      No            Yes

17.  Is there a history or recent onset of defiance towards authority figures?     No         Yes

18.  Is there a history or suspicion of problems associated with antisocial behaviors including
but not limited to lying, stealing, manipulating others, sexual aggression, violence toward people, property, or animals?     No         Yes

19.  Is there a history or suspicion of problems associated with traumatic life events?     No   Yes

20.  Is there evidence of anger control problems?      No         Yes

21.  Is there evidence of delinquency?       No               Yes

22.  Is there evidence of problematic social behaviors?      No            Yes         

23.  Has the child engaged in bullying at school or in the community?         No    Yes
Of course the letter was only vaguely threatening and they didn't actually commit to referring her to this program, which screams to me that they are trying to bully me into submission.  They just want me to know they have the power to do this, not that they are actually acting on it.  The bullying won't work with me because, honestly, I'm just too stubborn, but it has made me think.

WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE to judge my parenting based on 5 tardies?  Since when does the government think they are the high court of my personal life?  They screw up everything they touch and they expect me to conform to their ideas?  I will admit, those conformist exist but they are not the successful ones, the are the ones on welfare!  (okay, that was a low blow but I am mad over this!) 

I made it five years without any help from the public schools, what so ever!  I taught her to walk, to talk, I potty trained her, I taught her to say please and thank you, I taught her to be respectful, I taught her to tie her shoes, I taught her to count, I taught her what her colors were, I LAID THE FOUNDATION!  Now that I've done the hard stuff, the school system wants to swoop in, take credit and "tweak" my work.  I DON'T WANT IT TWEAKED!  I like what I've done so far!  Apparently they do too since they can't get enough of her!  ha!

I can think of kids who have perfect attendance and who are never late who could benefit from this program.  Not that this is the case for all kids with perfect attendance but the parents who don't want to be bothered find it easier to send their kids to school than deal with them.  They don't keep their kids home because it's too cold or unsafe to stand at the bus stop-they don't care enough to deal with it!  I'm not saying that every child with perfect attendance lives in that situation but it certainly happens! 

When I worked at a preschool, we had a little boy who never missed a day.  He was always early, he stayed late, he showed up no matter what the road or weather conditions were.  Not because his mother was so responsible but because she couldn't be bothered to raise him herself, but not to worry!  The school system won't bother her either since she manages to get him there so they can make their buck off of him!

When did it become the government's job to raise our children?  I have heard more than one parent complain when school is called off because they don't want to be bothered.  I'm sure it's an inconvenience for working parents, but that doesn't change the fact that it's not the school's responsibility to raise our kids.  If you don't want kids-don't have them!  Kids are HARD work, they are time consuming, they are all encompassing and they are worth it!

These after school programs and summer "enrichment" programs and all the various names the government has created in order to control more of our children's lives are a bunch of hooey!  I want to know how much of our tax dollars go towards these programs?  I don't mind my tax money going towards education, in fact, Carmel recently voted in favor of a referendum to raise taxes for the schools.  That's fine, but how much of my money is going towards child care?  I don't pay taxes so mom's don't have to be responsible for their children! 

I am blessed to be a stay at home mom, and I know all parents aren't.  My mom was a working mom and my dad travelled for work a lot, but mom figured it out without the school raising me.  She found sitters and family and friends to help out, and that's what parents need to do now.  QUIT RELYING ON THE GOVERNMENT!  That's how we got so messed up in the first place!

So, I find myself in a familiar position of considering home schooling again.  I had an epiphany last night when considering it of my fears is always "I might screw my kids up"  every time I think of homeschooling that crosses my mind but last night it hit me..."yep, I might screw them up but why would I let the government screw them up for me?"  Like I said, everything the government touches they mess up so why give them my children? 

As for me, I'm still praying and considering and who knows what will end up happening but last week was a reality check for me, for sure!  My children will not become a just dollar sign, I am their biggest advocate and that will continue whether I homeschool or they remain in public schools.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Walking in A Winter Wonderland...or Not...

We have been hit by snow in epic proportions this winter!  It has been so long since I've seen the ground without snow on it, I've forgotten what it looks like.  Our latest round of winter weather had me scratching my head and wanting to pull my hair out.  We got hit with four inches of ice!  FOUR INCHES OF ICE!  First of all, I didn't even know that was possible in Indiana.  Secondly, I wish it wasn't!  We had school closings, road closings, they closed interstates, they even closed the mall!  If that wasn't enough, today we got gobsmacked with six inches of snow.  I LOVE snow!  I think it's beautiful!  However, when I saw this particular snow I seemed to forget that there was a nice sheet of ice beneath it; so as pretty as it was-it was SLICK!

For someone with an inappropriate sense of humor there is nothing funnier than what happens when you mix a heavy layer of ice and a neighborhood full of people who are trying to combat it!  I spent the better part of the day laughing at various people for various things. 

The first one, we can all agree is HILARIOUS!   Fortunately, I just happened to be holding a video camera...ENJOY!

Now, being snowed in for so long can take it's toll on you and I think we are all going a little stir crazy after being couped up for the week.  We've all tried to get the ice removed, but there's just so much of it!  I was reading one of the local news station's facebook page and there were various suggestions on how to remove the ice.  One man suggested throwing gas down and setting it on fire-umm, no...when the fire department shows up and hoses it down there will just be more ice!  Then I ran across a little jewel of info for Keith, use a chainsaw!  There was even a video where a guy was doing it!  Keith took this suggestion and ran with it! 

Here's what it looks like when winter makes you crazy!

What he did with the ice chunks was pretty cool too!  He scored the ice then pried it up with a shovel.  After that he carried it into the yard and built Hadley a fort.  The next one is a video of him carrying the ice to the fort construction site.  Be sure to watch til the end, it's TOTALLY worth it!  Oh, and me laughing like a hyena...well, that's just a little bonus for ya!

Just wait!  I'm working on a "remix" with my Christmas present (adobe premier video editing software!) , that Keith will soon be kicking himself for buying!  I have big plans!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reagan & Obama...WHAT?

Tonight, on date night, Keith and I were at Barnes and Noble.  We perused the entire store, seriously, children's books to geriatric lifestyle!  I thought we'd seen it all and we were leaving when I spotted it...

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw...

Anyone who's still conscious, read on!  If you need a minute to collect yourselves, I understand!

This blasphemous photograph was lining the checkout lane at B&N!  Now, I know Time isn't exactly known for their fair media approach but this goes WAY beyond their usual stunts!  They have stooped too low!

I looked at Keith and in a shrill voice, while still trying to keep it leveled, so as not to attract the attention of liberals who frequent bookstores.  (I don't know, don't judge me, it's just this opinion I have!  Bookstores=Liberals, Libraries=Conservatives)  Anyway, I said "Oh no, I just threw up in my mouth a you see this crap?!?  What the heck is THAT?  Who does HE think he is tarnishing Reagan's good name for a publicity stunt!  Reagan is ROLLING in his grave!  If Obama thinks he's going to woo republicans by shaking hands with Ronnie (we know he's dead!), he's crazier than we thought!  All he's doing now is PISSING US OFF!  Get me out of here before I insight a riot!"

All the way to the car, Keith was still chattering about why I should get something other than a nook or a kindle, I don't know, I wasn't listening.  I just continued to voice my outrage!  Then, like it matters, Keith says "you didn't even read the article"  Like I give a flying you know what about the article!  However, I had an idea what it was based on and I gave Keith the quick synopsis..."it's probably because Obama carried a Reagan biography around over Christmas in an effort to woo the republicans, unfortunately for him we aren't as easily persuaded as his followers!

Then, Keith apparently lost his mind!  As we sat at the stop light, he has the audacity to say "well, by the time he's rounding out his second term..." seriously, I blacked out for a minute, but when I came back around he was babbling on in words I didn't understand, about Obama being young enough for two terms or even for two separate presidencies at which point I said "you hear this Elizabeth?  It's the big one!  I'm coming home!"  While Keith laughed hysterically!  I just don't know this man anymore, he is NOT the stick in the mud I married! 

I looked this stranger in the eyes and said "there will be a blog about this and I'm going to expose you for the liberal traitor you are!"  Case in point, don't Obama with me! 

PS  I want to share THIS superfly article about all the WRONGS of this magazine cover!


We got an ice storm this week in central Indiana, it was my first ever ice storm and I'm not impressed!  I LOVE snow days!  I love being able to throw snow around, make snow angels, sled, ect.  However, with ice, I can't even get out of the house! I'm the first to admit that I'm not the most graceful, but when you add 4 inches of ice I turn into a complete mess!

This morning school was running on a two hour delay and Keith isn't home, and my car is still iced in at the shop from Monday's fiasco so I decided I don't think it's safe for Hadley to go to the bus stop.  I don't think it's safe for her to walk the .2 miles to the bus stop that are a solid sheet of ice, and I certainly don't think it's safe for her to stand on the street corner while cars pass by.  Northerners can laugh all they want but I will not pit my child against various and random drivers of SUV's and delivery trucks on an icy road.  I pray there will be no accidents today with the school children but I can guarantee there won't be any involving my baby!

Because I deemed the day unsafe, I decided to let Hadley sleep in, Lydia didn't like that idea at all!  Lydia went upstairs and played in her room for a few minutes when I heard "knock, knock, knock, HAT-WE!"   Hadley was NOT happy to be woken up!  She was like a surly teenager who didn't want to get out of bed.  She stomped around the house for a few minutes, taking care of morning routine type things when I heard it...

"LYDIA!  Open the DOOR!"  Hadley screamed at the top of her lungs!

"NO HAT-WE, you're not being nice!" Lydia replied back.

"You can't lock me out of MY ROOM Lydia!" Hadley screamed back in tone that peeled the paint of the walls! 

Well, I'm sorry, I couldn't help but laugh!  When I realized Lydia had locked Hadley out of her own room because she wasn't being nice, I laughed out loud!  But, the best was yet to come!

Lydia calmly and coolly says, from the other side of Hadley's door "you play in my room, Hat-we."

"LET ME IN MY ROOM, LYDIA!" Hadley shrieks, again!

I'm a big believer in letting them work out their own problems so I'm trying to stay out of it but I always listen, just in case, I need to intervene.  Thank goodness I listen in because, little did I know, that the best part was yet to come!

Lydia, who is grace under fire throughout this whole exchange, says to Hadley. "I told you you can play in my room.  Hat-we, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"

Okay, that was the icing on my cake for the morning!  I laughed hysterically, until tears were rolling down my face!  However, when I heard the countdown coming from Hadley, I knew it was time to break it up! 

Hadley says "Lydia, let me in!  ONE!  TWO!..."

I broke up the fight and they are fine now, but the morning was a great start to a great weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Finding the Right Piece: Using Laughter and Faith in the Puzzle of Life: When no one's watching

One of my personal philosophies as a parent is to be authentic. This should be a life choice, not just a parenting and Jaime's blog today touched on that topic beautifully! Enjoy!

Finding the Right Piece: Using Laughter and Faith in the Puzzle of Life: When no one's watching: "Recently in a sermon the pastor posed a question that I have heard in church before. 'Who are you when no one's watching?' This time, I rea..."

Tormented, Alone.

I don't know why God has put this on my heart but lately I can't get a girl from elementary school out of my head.  Her name was Melissa Endel and she had a younger brother named Jason.  Kids at school tormented both of them relentlessly!  I don't know why, I don't remember any specific defining moment, I don't remember who started it, where, or why.  I do remember, so clearly, Melissa's face all red and puffy from crying after kids made fun of her for being different.

About five or six years ago, my grandaddy was in the hospital and I went to see him.  As I was walking down the hall I caught a glimpse of Melissa, out of the corner of my eye, laying in a hospital bed.  I stopped right there and said a prayer for her, then dismissed it.  It's plagued me for a long time.

I don't know anything about Melissa, from back then or from now, but she has been on my heart for some reason and I can't dismiss it.  I can't help but think that, all those years ago, when the kids were tormenting Melissa I should have stood up for her.  I clearly remember that I NEVER participated, and I remember my heart hurting for her when I would see the kids make fun of her but I didn't want to get involved.  I was too scared that they'd turn on me too.

I don't know what the proper answer was for back then, but I can't help but think that my second grade teacher should be ashamed of herself for not stopping it.  She was the adult, and she dismissed it too. 

A few years ago I saw a group of girlfriends turn on another friend because she was "different" and, she is!  This woman marches to her own beat, but she's got a great heart.  She may not be what you hope your daughters grow up to be like, but you always hope they love as freely as she does.  A woman who had been a close friend of hers called me and said that she'd just "stayed out of it" and I told her that by staying out of it, you silently submit to it, and that's what I did with Melissa.  This woman took that to heart and stood by her friend!  She did everything I wish I'd done-back then!

I never made fun of Melissa, I just stayed out of it.  I saw her hurt and I never did anything to stop it.  By staying out of it, I allowed it to happen.  I don't know if I could have stopped it, at seven years old, but Melissa wouldn't have had to be so alone and that can make a huge difference.

As I raise my daughters, I don't know how I would handle that situation if it arises in their lives.  I want to think I'll tell them to stand up for the victim!  Be the voice!  I PRAY that I tell them that, but in all honesty I know I will be afraid that the tormentors will turn on my baby!  I don't want to see any child hurt, but I REALLY don't want to see my child hurt.  I'm sure that reveals far more inner selfishness than I'd like, but it's true. 

I don't know why God has put this on my heart but maybe I'll remember to stand up for what's right, in the future, whether it's popular opinion or not.  You can't always stop someone from being hurt but you can make it hurt less by being a friend.