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"You can't teach that at school....."

 Thursday, May 28, 2015

 “Even if i'm setting myself up for failure, I think it's worth trying to be a mother who delights in who her children are, in their knock-knock jokes and earnest questions. A mother who spends less time obsessing about what will happen, or what has happened, and more time reveling in what is.... A mother who doesn't fret over failings and slights, who realizes her worries and anxieties are just thoughts, the continuous chattering and judgement of a too busy mind.... A mother who doesn't worry so much about being bad or good but just recognizes that she's both, and neither.....A mother who does her best, and for whom that is good enough, even if, in the end, her best turns out to be, simply, not bad..... ” 

So Many times, I think it has been way too long since I opened up about anything raw that I am going through present day. And my fear kicks in and I make excuses and I avoid sharing on here. I know that I have a lot to say, because I have a lot to think about. My mind never seems to stop. Let me try and see if I can explain what I am feeling....I pray the right words will come....I pray that this will ease the ever crowding thoughts in my head....and I hope you can follow....

Today is the last day of I type this I am letting out a huge sigh of relief. Even if you didn't have children you would be able to look at your status feed on Facebook and guess it.... Awards Day...Honor's Programs....Graduations.....the usual bragging that little Johnny made all A Honor roll again this year with Perfect attendance. It usually lasts for about a good 2 weeks before it slacks off and the Summer posts start filling my feed. Believe me, I love seeing all the posts.....the smiling, beaming faces of parents that are so filled with pride.....the kids that are so happy that another year has come and gone...and they were successful in making good grades. Excited about the Summer of fun laid before them...Pool parties, beach trips, staying up late, hanging out with friends way after the hot blazing sun has went down, sleeping in and lazy days....Its a break from the stress and monotony of organized school days. 

It is around this time every year that I always begin to feel like a failure as a Mother....

 Allow me to explain...School is a struggle for us. School is a struggle for always has been. I sit here quietly and read your status updates....and while I am proud of you and your children....I also feel a bit inadequate as a mother. Khristian is not a bad student....he is a smart kid....has amazing potential and can do anything he puts his mind to. He can retain bits of information like an encyclopedia and spit stuff out that he learned in class years ago back at you. He just doesn't like school....Organization is not his thing....and for the love of God, the child loves to talk (which frequently gets him in trouble,)

I dread the month of August every single year.....I know a new school year is about to start up and the struggle will once again begin. There have been night that I have sat at the kitchen table and cried....been frustrated....wondered what it is that I am doing wrong. There have been days when I pick up his bookbag and peek inside and find a mess of papers....I have spent a fortune in organizational materials in past years. Nothing works. School is a constant battle with him.....and by the time that May rolls around....I am physically and mentally exhausted. I have often wondered if there are other Mom's out there like me....that will never post a status stating that their child has made all A Honor Roll....that sits silently just praying for your child to pass the grade level. That lays in the bed at night after an argument with her child about a test that he obviously didn't study enough for.....and wonders what she should do differently and fears for her child's future. Fears that her past mistakes will become her son's present mistakes. I feel as though sometimes I am struggling just to keep it all together and I don't want my biggest failure in life to be that I didn't give my all to my children.

Last night these thoughts were weighing heavy on my mind before I went to sleep....after tossing and turning all night I got up and ran this morning with a sweet friend, On the way home the sun coming up behind the clouds was a beautiful sight....I pulled over and prayed. I prayed that God would
ease the heavy feeling on my me somehow that I was not a failure...that I was making a difference in my child's life. I prayed that he would help me seek new ways to deal and to have the strength to make it through another school year come August. I prayed that he would speak to Khristian's give him that drive that he needs. I prayed that he take my mine and my child's heart in his hands and mold it to what he wants it be....

I wiped the tears from eyes....pulled out on the road and drove home....and when I got to my front prayer was answered.

I was met at the door by Khristian, who was weirdly already awake, with a bag of garbage being taken out. He said "Good Morning Mom....I've already cleaned the kitchen and living room for you this morning so you don't have to rush to do it.' As I said Thank you Son....I heard my sweet Bailey already awake in my bedroom watching cartoons..... I went to give her a hug and she said "My Bubby got me a juice and turned Peppa Pig on for me!"

I may not can post a facebook status about Khristian making all A's and so on.....but I could write a book about how good that childs heart is. I could tell you about how every single day in the afternoon he asks me "Mom, How was your day?" .... or the fact that he randomly will pick up the house when he sees how exhausted I am. I could tell you about how some mornings I will look in the rearview mirror and I see him holding Baileys hand.....about how since she was born and is upset, he can rub the side of her face and she calms down....and every morning when he gets out of the car for school he makes it a point to kiss me goodbye and tell Bailey to have a good day. I can tell you about the time that he heard Travis and I get into an argument and he pulled me aside the next day and made sure that I was ok and told me he loved me. I can tell you about the letter he gave me that told me I was his biggest inspiration....that I taught him to never give up on his dreams....and I could tell you about how after him and I get into an argument, several hours later he will come into my bedroom and cuddle up with me for a few minutes like he did when he was a toddler....and just sit quietly for a moment.

When I walked in the door this morning, I was reminded that I have a son that has a heart of gold.

You can't teach that at school..... :)


"Be good. Do good...."

 Wednesday, May 6, 2015

“What I've come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion.” 

I catch myself looking, studying, absorbing the people around me. I take in their appearance and mannerisms. I follow their gaze and wonder what holds their thoughts. I wonder where they are going. I wonder if our paths will ever cross again in this big world we share. What brought them there? Work? Play? Chance? What’s their life like? Are they planning their next vacation or are they stressing over their next meal? Is he ecstatic for that promotion? Did she just get laid off from her job, the only income on which her family survives?  
There are countless faces I see everyday, never truly knowing who they are or what their day entails. Everyday, we are all given the opportunity to change someone’s life. How is up to you. That frustrated and tearful mother in the supermarket with the screaming child. Instead of casting judgement and disdain for the mild inconvenience her toddler may have caused you, offer words of encouragement. “I’ve been there. It gets better.” The panhandler, begging ‘anything helps’. Many scoff, saying “get a job!” Maybe he’s one of the many veterans who have returned home and found themselves unemployed and homeless. 
This morning, I had to make a quick stop in at the grocery store.....while I was standing there in the baby isle with my sweet Bailey I couldn't help but to over hear a conversation a young girl was having on her cell phone. She couldn't have been no  more than about 17 or 18....with a young baby on her hip. I am not sure who she was speaking with...but she was explaining to the person that she had to buy diapers and wipes for daycare and put gas in her car so she could get back and forth to work....and she had a $20.00 bill in her hand...that's all she had. I could hear the desperation in her voice....and the tears threatening to spill over in her eyes. It instantly took me back to when I, myself, was an 18 year old single mom with a small baby boy on my hip...having to make that same choice. Only to get up the register and still not have enough money to buy the diapers and formula. I was 3 dollars shy of having the total amount due.

I can remember standing there, voice cracking, tears welling up in my eyes as I tried to figure out what to do. Then I felt a warm hand being placed over mine and looking up to an older gentleman handing me a $20.00 bill and saying "Here you go young lady....get what you need." I couldn't hold back the tears any longer and I thanked him profusely....He told me not to mention it....that he just wanted to help. I vowed that if I ever saw him again...I would pay him back and let him know just how much is act of kindness and compassion meant to a struggling teenage mother. I still haven't gotten that chance.

While I was standing there listening to this young girls conversation, I couldn't help myself. As she ended her phone call, I asked her what size diapers she needed. She looked at me like I had 2 heads....but told me that she needed a size 2. I grabbed a huge box of size 2 diapers and a box of wipes off the bottom shelf, grabbed Baileys hand...and told the young girl to follow me to the cash register. After I paid for the items, I handed them to her. It was then that I saw the same face I must have had 12 years ago looking back at the older gentleman. She had tears in her eyes and she thanked me profusely. I told her that no thanks was just remember this moment later in life...and return the favor for someone else.

 My point here isn’t to hand over all your cash to the next panhandler you see. The point is, you run across dozens of people everyday. You don’t know their background. You don’t know the troubles they face. You don’t know how they ended up where they are today.  Sadly, it seems our first instinct is to judge when it should be to LOVE. More often than not, all that is needed to change someone’s day for the better is a few kind words. We possess the ability to leave a lasting impression on any one person, why not take that opportunity to be compassionate rather than bitter? 

I don't know this girls background....I don't know her story. I don't need to. I just did what I felt like I needed to in my heart. 
Our society has become stricken by greed. Where in the decades past have we forgotten what it is to be cordial to one another?   We are consumed with materialism and technology. Hate and slander obtruding into our minds on a daily basis through media. What have we become that our priorities do not lie as a Nation Under God, but in removing Him from the establishments in which we need him most! Civility and compassion has become an after thought when it should be second nature. 
Whenever you find it your heart to show mercy, know that you are doing as you were called to do. We are all here for a specific purpose . Let it not be the cause of someone else’s pain.

Be good. Do good. 


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