Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Harsh Realities

I have been a bad blogger lately. The truth of the matter is that I really just haven't felt like it. At all. There's actually been a lot going on lately that I could be blogging about, but I just haven't wanted to. I posted something a week or so ago about a friend's husband dying and then promptly took it down. It was too soon. It seemed way too personal to be talking about something so horrific. It still does.

I will tell you this though. You can make plans for the present and the future and in a split second those plans can be forever altered, changed, ruined. It doesn't take much and that is scary. You can assume you will raise your children together, go on vacation, retire and travel and then grow old sitting on the porch together until you both peacefully pass from this world to the next. Then something can happen that shatters that illusion and makes that idyllic scene completely impossible. You can be left alone, raising your children by yourself. A widow or widower when you are still technically young.

Being faced with these thoughts lately has given me a much greater appreciation for the life I currently have, knowing that it is possible that at any moment that life can be altered. It makes some of the "little" things my husband and I bicker about seem so pointless.

I suppose my point is just that life can be unfair; it can suck and be painful and seemingly unbearable. But the possibility of these things happening shouldn't make us stop appreciating the positives simply because there is a *chance* something bad could happen. Sometimes fear can be paralyzing and we need to remind ourselves to live, to continue to enjoy life, and deal with the harsh realities when they occur but definitely not to live in constant fear of them *possibly* happening. And that is what I have spent these past few weeks trying to do.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sharing Is Not Synonymous with "I Want, Therefore I Take"

I am curious as to when the term "share" became synonymous with the word "take." Each week this past year I sat in the lobby with my son while my daughter took an hour long gym class. Each week I heard parents tell their children or implore others "to share." Some used this term correctly, but most did not even come close.

Today I reached my breaking point with a certain mother who loudly tells other kids that they have to "share" each time her spoiled brat of a kid whines about wanting a toy another kid is playing with. Today it happened to be my son. He was sitting with a few pieces that connect to make a bridge. This kid came over and tried to take the pieces from my son. God bless him, he held his ground and looked over at me like, "Do I have to give these up?" His mother then says, "Well, we ALL have to share. Maybe that boy will share with you." For the record, I hate that passive-aggressive bullshit. Not to mention....THAT'S NOT SHARING!!! THAT'S TAKING. There is a huge difference. Might I recommend a dictionary in which to look it up. I wasn't going to say anything in response, other than telling my son, that "No, you're fine. Keep playing" but the woman just wouldn't stop with her yapping about "sharing" said repeatedly solely for my benefit. I finally just looked at her and said, "Encouraging your child to take my child's toys is not SHARING. It's TAKING. Don't misuse the first word to justify the selfish act of the second." The room fell silent.

I just don't think sharing should be used as a justification for taking what you want right when you want it. Don't misunderstand. I don't advocate selfishness. Kids need to learn to share certain things (within reason) and take turns, etc. My issue becomes when people (read parents) use the term "share" to essentially justify taking something they want or they want their kid to have. Don't try to categorize that under the heading of "sharing." Just be honest about what it is.

If my kid has five toys and is playing with one then his friends can play with the other four. That's sharing. Sharing doesn't mean that my kid has to give up the one toy he is currently playing with because some other kid wants it right at that moment. My kid clearly wants it too. Which is why he is playing with it in the first place. So, why do some people view sharing as one kid having to give that one toy up when another wants it? That is not sharing at all. To me, there is a difference.

I would never expect a parent to make their kid give up his/her toy simply because my kid wants it too. I'd have my kid(s) find something else to play with until that kid was done with it. I just don't understand the parents who won't tell their kids, "No, that other kid is playing with that toy now, you will have to wait and find something else to play with." There are too many parents who are teaching their kids that to "share" means to a) take what you want when you want it and if that kid doesn't give it up then he/she isn't "sharing" and b) you have to give up a toy you are playing with if another kid expresses the slightest bit of interest and if you don't then you aren't "sharing" either.

There is going to be a generation, even more so than there already is, that will just expect instant results, instant gratification, never having been exposed to the concept of delayed gratification because they were always given what they wanted when they wanted it with little regard for others.

When relaying this story to a friend today she said, "Well, my husband doesn't believe in sharing at all. He thinks once you claim a toy it is yours to play with until you are done. That may be five minutes or it might be all day." I'm interested in your thoughts on this. Where do you stand? What say you?

Thursday, June 3, 2010


My baby turned three this past holiday weekend. THREE! So hard to believe when it seems like just yesterday he was born. We had a party for him the day before his birthday which was great. He had a lot of fun and ended up with some pretty cool gifts that he loves and has been playing with non-stop since. Monday, his actual birthday, we took him out to dinner....more as a result of my lack of desire to cook than for his birthday but we let him think it was for his celebration.
My daughter started an art class this week. An actual art class. So much of what passes for art these days is really activities and crafts that truthfully doesn't take a lot of artistic ability. I don't know yet whether my daughter has any natural artistic ability but this class is great. It teaches a step by step approach to drawing and it's amazing what she came out with after just her first class. The program is Young Rembrandts and it is nationwide. You should check it out.
I have under three months left of this pregnancy. I can hardly believe that it has gone by this quickly. It's strange. This is my third pregnancy and I am obviously older with this pregnancy than either of my previous and yet as a whole this pregnancy has been the least complicated. Sure, I was sick at the beginning, sure there was a whole blood pressure scare that turned out to be nothing, and sure I am tired but as a whole I feel good and at times really don't even feel pregnant....I don't quite look it either, which is odd.
We enrolled our son in a gymnastics class that runs once a week through the month of June. It is his first class of any type and we weren't sure how he was going to respond. He's a rock star. He participated right away, followed directions, did as he was told and had a blast. It was unbelievably cute watching him bounce on the trampoline, climb a ladder, walk on the balance beam, etc. I love this age!