Thursday, May 1, 2014

To my critic.

I wrote a blog the other day. And it clearly didn't sit well with someone.

I'm not sure who. Because they only posted anonymously to me.

Which makes it a tiny bit hard to straighten out--you know, since it was anonymous and all.

Donthcha think?

I am just going to do a bit of clarifying here.

I want to clarify to you, all my friends, what my blog is.  My blog is just about my feelings. What i am thinking.  What i want to express at the very moment. Sometimes i use it to process, for myself. Sometimes i write to laugh. To understand. And to lighten up.

My last post--about the Jews--was not intended to offend anyone.

But like everything, someone managed to find offense.

And that somebody choose to leave an anonymous comment on my blog.  Although they later deleted it. The email still came to me with their words.  Their critiques of my writings and their defense of their mother, who was clearly a working mom.

And i have a few things to say about that comment.

I'll use the example of the sandbur. We have lots of these in East Bethel and deal with them all Summer.

And ain't nobody like the sandburs.

You know how when you grab a ball and a sandbur is on that ball, it pricks your finger and it hurts, right?

But then you pull it out and go about your business as usual. 'Cause its not the end of the world to get a sandbur in your finger.

And then later that night, you go to make dinner and you grab a knife and you notice your finger--it still hurts.

But you can't really do anything about it, cause you already pulled out the sandbur.

So you continue on.

And then that next day, you go to write a note to your kids teacher and you find that when you pick up a pencil--it hurts again.  Your finger tip is sore.

But you forget about it, because you can do nothing about it, the damage was done. You can't undo the sandbur prick.

Even after the actual source of your pain is removed.......the hurt can linger.

So, lets just say that my little critic was a sandbur---a prick, if you will.

And their words probably came to them quickly as they made the conscious effort to write on my blog.  It wasn't a big deal to them, i assume.

But the affects of their words, although deleted, lingered.

And i really would love to talk about that, to explain my words to them and to hear what they thought but unfortunately, a conversation will never be held since they posted it anonymously.

Fortunately, though, I do think i know who this person is.

I write my blog today, as always, with only my opinions in it.  Never have i had hard facts about much of what i've said.

You know, I absolutely love a good book, I like to talk through every twist and turn. I like to look deeper, find the true message they are trying to send. I enjoy how a movie can transport you to a different place and time. I think music has meaning and paints beautiful pictures. I appreciate art and every aspect of it all. Their talent is not lost on me. Not one bit. And I  long, with all of my heart, to hold a candle stick to anything good. I would give anything to create something beautiful. Something that touches others. Something that brings them joy. Transports them. Makes them think. Makes them smile. Even laugh. To evoke emotion. But you know what? Even though i can't compete with so many other people, even though i am not a scholar--i am still going to write. Because i am okay with not being the best. It doesn't bother me. I'm okay with just being.... okay. Some posts work, and some don't. I know that. You don't have to tell me. Because i already know and i am just okay with that.

Because it is fun, it fills my soul, it puts words to my feelings.  It makes me happy.

My blog about the little Jewish boy who longed for his mothers touch-- broke my heart.  And i wanted to remind myself--and any one of the 6 people that read this--the value of being a Mom.

I didn't say a "stay-at-home mom" and i didn't say a "working mom".  'Cause we are all one in the same.

That post was never an attack on the working woman.

For heavens sake, I am so totally over this stay-at-home vs. working Mom thing!!!

I have so many beautiful friends who are working moms and who are amazing. And i know so many awesome stay at home moms that do a great job.  Any shortcoming of a Mother is in their own behavior or personality. Not their job title.  You can be a crappy stay at home mom or a crappy working mom. That all on you. So this invisible war--i am no part of.  I've made my mistake by stating my big opinions on the issue long ago and i hurt someone i cared about. And then i learned from my mistake. I don't know why we can't just ban together, as women. This crazy divide about who's insulting whom or who works harder than the other. I'm not in it. I won't be.We shouldn't do it to each other.

I speak passionately about two things. My love for my kids. And the power of Jesus Christ.  I'll always go down fighting for these two things. But please don't misunderstand that when i speak of loving my kids and giving them my heart, i'm not speaking only as a stay-at-home mother.

My blog was about MOTHERS. Every kind. Whether you get 19 hours with your kids a day or 30 minutes. The point was, MAKE THOSE MOMENTS COUNT!!

So to my anonymous critic, who felt the need to assure me of their mothers love and affection then and now (all while she climbed the corporate ladder). Good for you. I'm glad she loved you. No one ever implied she didn't.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but that blog wasn't about you.

But my guess is that maybe you think lots of things in life are about you? So instead of seeing the heartbreaking point of a child being torn from his mother and longing for her tender touch, you chose to defend an invisible attack.

And not only defend it, but you chose to insult me in the process.  I typed a word wrong. It was spelled incorrectly and you, in all of your splendor, would never do such a dunce-like thing. My spelling offended you. It must have, since you thought it would be better to point out my stupidity than to overlook it. I mean, I understand, i too, was concerned about my lack of word finding skills and the sudden difficulty that i had spelling--so i had an MRI done last year. Its something that i worry about on my own. But thank you for pointing that out to me.

And like that prick i talked about earlier.  That is the part of your comment that still stings just a tiny bit.

Because, you see, i have never claimed to know it all. In fact, if you know me, you know i can't seem to get anything right. And it really sucks. But i am aware of it.

Your poisonous little prick really has had a lasting affect. Whether you intended it to or not.

I find such frustration and weakness in the voice of the Internet. The satisfaction people get in saying hurtful things and then hitting "send" and letting cyberspace do the rest of the dirty work. Never do we take ownership for our words anymore. We don't even sign our names, for petes sake.  These bullish people who feel the need to respond to everything out there and yet never stay long enough, or are brave enough, to say things to each others faces?  They lack empathy. We face a world void of empathy because we never get to truly see how our words can make other people feel.  We don't see the pain, or the momentary wince, that warns us of our words effect and teaches us to be more careful with our tongue. For we are all human. And no one is perfect.

The buggar is, we all have a weak spot in life. A place of vulnerability.  Something we don't want anyone to know about--for fear they may attack.  And you know what, dear critic? Somehow you managed, perfectly, to find mine.

How wonderful for you.

But i won't linger here long. Soon i will forget the whole thing.

It is only fresh in my mind today. And, you know what happens when i think, well darnit if i don't end up typing about it.

I'm sorry that you were unintentionally offended by my words after you misinterpreted them. I thought i had clarified that part in my last blog. Maybe you missed it.

Now if you'll escuce me, i'm gunna go and warch my chikens play in da wadder. Cause us dummies, we like ta look at da chikens.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Momma's touch

Lately i have found my self very interested, nay, obsessed with the tellings of the Jewish people and their unimaginable journey into the concentration camps. I find myself grasping at all the information that i can get and reading book after book about that frightful period in time.

I find myself feeling guilty as i read it. I find myself feeling angry at the Germans. I also find myself wondering, how?  How would i have lived in that time. Who would i have been. What would i have done.  How would i have handled it?

I have worked hard to keep my overwhelming fear of the unknown and the end times at bay. Consciously. For fear of my own demise.

And so when i dig deeply into the stories of Jewish death camps.....I can't help but allow my mind to connect the dots between the gravity of their fates and the misguided fear of my own potential fate. The fear that i have of living out Revelations. Fighting to the end.

All the stories of survivors and witnesses alike, tell the same fateful tale.  The stars on their clothing, the gathering of Jews and the horrendous conditions, the cattle cars and the camps.  Some lived to tell about it, scarred. Some didn't.  And its something that i force myself to think about--because i fear that if i don't--it makes their suffering somehow less. Because it is our history as a world, though ugly, and one that i feel the least i can do, is read about. No matter how hard it may be.

As a Mother these stories have such a different meaning to me than they did before.  To separate a mother from her child?  I can think of no greater evil.

In the current book that i am reading, a young boy--only 13,  is at Auschwitz and was recently separated from his sisters and Mother earlier that day. He is with his Father in torturous conditions. They are stripped naked, shaved bald and humiliated. He speaks of that first night in the camp. Standing in a room with no floor. Walls, but no roof and the smell of death all around him. He finally finds sleep.(while standing).  And he writes about his dream. He said, "I dreamed of a bed, my mothers hand on my face..."

Its not much. Not intense or dramatic. And he was soon awakened to the harsh realities of his current situation.

But for me, that line, that one tiny line touched deep in my heart.

Read it again, and think of your child dreaming that dream.  It hurts doesn't it?

It is such a great reminder of the power of our loving touch. The power of a Mother. How a child longs for the comforting, safe, love of their Momma.

It stirred me.  It awoken in me an even deeper desire to hold my children close.

I think about how we fuss with "baby wising" our kids, in hopes of getting them on a schedule. Or how we hurry through bed time, story time, for our own quiet space. How we always seem to get annoyed when they play in the bathroom instead of just brushing their teeth at night.  We regulate if we are parenting with "enough" rules or "not enough". Are they "problem solving" the way they should be. Maybe they should have more chores at this age? Lessen our loads. How can we grow them properly and quick enough so that we--as parents--aren't inconvenienced?

I hate that. All of it.

 Now don't get your panties all in a bunch 'cause i said something that almost offended you. I don't need to hear your opinion on "the importance of chores and getting them on a schedule". Or hear that facts on how "if kids can't read by 3 they will never get into College?"  Or "4 years in preschool is the new black." " Potty training at 7 months means my kid is on the fast track in life."  Basically, so many people try to imply--very passive aggressively--that their kid is going to be the valedictorian and  pretty much everyone else's kids will be wearing the dunce hat. To them, structure = succeeding at everything. (And if you are a new parent reading this, please don't ever fall into their unhappy little trap. Love your kid. That's all they need. You are never inadequate if you are present.)  Don't miss my point here, i am not ripping on structure, for i know it brings many benefits and positives. I only say sometimes we focus so heavily on the future that we actually end up missing the present. And that scares me.

We have a pretty intense bedtime routine at our house. With lots of stories, lots of kissing, lots of praying and then a final snuggle until we hear our kids breath change into that slow and constant rhythm--ensuring us of their complete transition into slumber.

Some night i just look over at my boy, as he lays peacefully, sleeping. And my heart feels like it may very well explode with my undying love for him. I just want to breath him in and never lose him.

And yet even when i know this and love it--some nights i just want to hurry bedtime.  And of course that is human and each day is different. We aren't robots and some days call for different things. But reading these stories have just reminded me, once again, that very important detail we sometimes miss in a day. Time. Touch. Freedom. Purity. Togetherness. Peace. Safety. Love.  No agenda. Just presence with one another.  Something not everyone has the luxury of giving. Something we would miss tremendously--if it were ripped from us.

Today my heart broke for the boy who longed for his Momma's loving touch but...... it wasn't there. For the boy who had to smell death  in the air as he watched the black smoke billow from the crematorium. For the boy who endured so much suffering for no good reason.

It reminds me, again, to look at my kids like the gifts that they are. The treasure that i hold so dear to my heart. Because when it all comes down to it--without the human connection--we have nothing.  

The time we waste chasing dreams, pursuing goals, furthering education, climbing up the corporate ladder, chasing the almighty dollar, taking care of #1--that all pales in comparison to our love and our flesh.  Our family.

And i, for one, want my kids to always know my touch. To long for it when they are scared. To reach for it in when they are hurt. To look to it for love. And I pray they are always able to find it.

Because, to me, nothing else in this whole wide world, even comes close to the enormity of that weight. The weight of being their Mom.

I wouldn't trade my job as Mom for anything in this whole wide world. Because if we lost our house--it would be a bummer. If we had no car--that would stink. If Jeromy's job was gone--it would be hard.

But i would lose it all--just to be able to put my hand on my children's cheek to reassure them of my love.

Because what if i lost that ability??

Oh how I would spend my whole life regretting those precious moments that i had missed....