Originally posted July, 2010….

This blog entry is more of a venting session than anything else, and more of a serious tone than my usually posts.  I debated about writing any of this down but, I believe I will combust if I don’t get it out.  I’ve been a mom for the last nine years and have worked in the legal field for about ten.  As a mom, I have seen and been through a ton that has taught me, calmed me, panicked me and awed me, but never have I ever second-guessed my position as a mother.  I am by far not perfect, and not all my choices in life have been unselfish or wise, but I never regret the days my babies came into this world.  From the first moment I laid eyes on my daughter I understood I had a huge responsibility and I needed to step up.  I immediately accepted the fact that just a few of my duties would include protector, maid, taxi driver, boo-boo fixer, teddy bear, shoulder to cry on, ear to listen, but most of all ROLE MODEL.  I just wish that was the overall consensus in today’s day in age.

 While working, I’ve experienced a multitude of different cases/issues;  some interesting, some funny, some really stupid and some just plain infuriating.  I have learned in the last ten years that people (not all, but a lot) are so driven by the mighty dollar that they are blinded to the more important things in their lives.  This blindness not only unknowingly affects them individually, but the ones who love them the most – their children.  Their children…the sweet, loving, huggable, innocent children THEY brought into this world.  I underline innocent because if our children are not anything else that are that.  Children do not choose to be part of a family, they did not choose to be taken advantage of, they did not choose to grow up ten years too early for their age, nor do they choose to be used as a pawn in any of the ridiculous games that I’ve seen played!  The fact is, they do not CHOOSE any of it.  They come into their unwritten lives with a clean slate, not knowing what hope is, love is, pride is, what responsibility or nurturing means.   They also don’t come into this world knowing what hate, prejudice or arrogance is either.  They only learn by what WE teach them. We engrave our teachings and beliefs into their little minds as early as they can feel our presence.  As they grow, what is engraved is the only thing they know, understand or consider normal.  But who gets punished when something goes wrong?  Not the engraver, but the engraved—the innocent children.

 I was one of the lucky ones.  I had two parents who loved me beyond words, sometimes overprotective and not easy, but underneath the disagreements and disappointments, I always knew I could go to them, I always knew they loved me, I always knew I would be provided for, have a place to sleep and food in my stomach, because every day they worked hard for me and my brother — they stepped up.  When we were born, their lives were no longer lived just for themselves, they were living for us and their main priority was our safety, health and success.  THAT was all that mattered.  Sacrifice was a way of life, but it was a willing way of life.  A new TV was put on the back-burner, as was the new grill, new clothes, etc.  Their only real vacation was taken on their 26th wedding anniversary, because in the year of their 25th I decided to get married.  Raising us is what they lived for and I couldn’t be more grateful.

 But what about the unlucky ones, is it their fault that disruption and anger is all they are able to express?  Is it their fault that this behavior is the only way they know how to get someone/anyone’s attention?  Is it their fault that when the only relationship they have experienced is a competition in who can outdo the other, or a screaming/boxing match between the two people in their short little lives who are suppose to “love” each other?  This is all they’ve been taught.  This is what they witness and how they form their definitions of love, relationships, respect, pride and honor.  Our behavior, our actions are instructing our children how to feel and how to act.  How do we expect them to know any different?  If you recall, they had a clean slate before they came into OUR lives.  We, as parents are responsible to teach our children.  WE asked for the responsibility (intentionally or not), WE took on the responsibility and if WE are blessed enough to have the responsibility its time to STEP UP. 

 I have seen firsthand the emotion, the heartbreak, the financial struggle and incredible determination that unfolds when a couple who has so much love between them that all they want to do is share it with a child of their own and cannot.  To me, it is wholly unfair that these loving people are not graced with this blessing.  My heart aches for them because everyone deserves to love another’s life more than their own and unfortunately and disgustingly, some chose to take this blessing for granted.

My deep infuriation comes from watching grown people act like children themselves.  They pride themselves on their material things and insignificant accomplishments, or choose to allow others to support their bad habits or idiotic behavior.  They have children of their own and either parade them around like trophies or forget they’re human beings and treat them like a ticket for a hand out.   The children are the ones who pay for their immaturity; the children are the ones who absorb the lessons of the greedy or the cold-hearted, only to internalize it as normal practice.  The innocent children pay the price and, again, I stress innocent

 As a single mom, I appreciate that there are many, many things in this world that are unfair, but I also realize I chose my life path, and I have to take responsibility for it.  There have been plenty of sleepless nights wondering if the rent would get paid or if I’d be able to get books for school or afford daycare.  I am not ashamed to say that I’ve attempted to qualify for government benefits only to be denied.  I was barely able to provide for food, shelter or gas, but never able to qualify for help.  I’d be horribly angry at the system, but I never stopped striving to provide for my family with pride and honesty.  The chapters of my life were not always fun or easy and there were times I wanted to give up, even asking myself why bother? The answer always came back to my children.  I am their role model, I am their guide, and with the crappy role models they have in today’s society; wearing no clothes, cosmetically altered, overly drugged, sexed and immune from the law, I figure their parents are the best shot they have.

 I recently heard a quote from a young man who stated “It’s not our choice where we come from, but it’s our choice where we end up”.  I absolutely agree, but why is that the norm.   My heart hurts for the young children who are not given a choice and I applaud those who overcome and have done for themselves what they were not taught to do in their young lives.  I equally applaud the parents/guardians who struggle everyday to do what’s right by their children no matter how difficult. 

 So what is the point of this rant?  I have to admit it was selfishly driven…I’m tired.  I am so tired of hearing about the beaten, battered and murdered children.  Every morning I read the paper and I regret picking it up.  I am so tired of people not taking responsibility for such beautiful blessings.  I’m so tired of the selfish acts that are detrimental to our children and their future.  Treat others they way you would like to be treated —doesn’t that include our kids?  Step Up!  Biological or not, our children are a product of us, isn’t it our job to protect them, love them, and help them grow and succeed.  Let’s take responsibility for the innocence WE chose to bring into or bring up in this world.  Protect them and teach them by example, show them that life can be beautiful, and love them unconditionally so one day they too can be a role model.   STEP UP!

   Look to your children often for the answers you seek, and they will provide you with simplicity only innocence can.


One of Those Do Over Days

Ever have one of those days? You know the kind of day when the alarm doesn’t wake you, your pants don’t fit right, your hair seems to have some kinda of flippy thing happening, you hit every single stop light on your 45 minute ride in, and when you finally get to work, two people are out sick and someone hit the side of the building with their car.  No joke, I couldn’t make this stuff up.  This was my day, and sadly, that was only the beginning.

I usually believe that positive thinking will bring positive things, but apparently my brain positively did not get that memo this morning, because my belief today was that it is an unwritten rule, when you’re having a bad day, everyone and everything around you is out to make you lose your mind.  I also believe my universe was tilted upside down and backwards from dawn to dusk.  To start things off even after it began, not only were we short-handed and have some idiot hit the building but nothing went right.  NOTHING.  The phone rang off the hook, (my) stupid mistakes were flowing like water and I found out in the middle of the day, the home computer had an ugly virus and, of course, lo and behold the warranty for the new system didn’t cover software problems.

So needless to say, after forgetting to include something in a work project this afternoon, and driving to meet my boss for a game of cat and mouse, only to be upstairs when she was downstairs and downstairs when she was up, about 2:00 I was ready to call it a day (even a week).  As if it weren’t enough, once my work day was finally over, the insane upside down, turned around, craziness followed me home.  The kids were hyper on 12 and CRABBY, and the dogs just fed off the energy ultimately joining in on the “fun” game of lets see how far mommy could be pushed til her head popped off.  I truly got to the point where yelling or getting mad was pointless and that calm insanity set in.

It was like baseballs were being thrown from all sides and hitting me in all my vital organs.  Mondays are usually difficult every week but this Monday was exceptionally STUPID. My solution: We should get to rewind a day a month.  As soon as we recognize the signs of a truly crappy day, have the chance to go back in time, crawl back into bed and start all over again.  I realize I live in a dream world, especially after the not one, but 2, huge 5-year-old fits and a 10-year-old attitude.  So for now, I will enjoy the long awaited  peace of ALL the children sleeping an hour after bedtime (dogs included), with a cold beer and a few pieces of pizza daydreaming of a better tomorrow.

Sissifying the Game

As we have all heard, this past week in football there has been drama, meetings, scandals and fines and the opinions about it all have come in on both sides of the fence.   For me, I don’t really care who Favre showed his privates to or the fact that a two-year punter felt the need to swim in a canal, with no shirt, and actually say he didn’t remember how much he drank, because he was drunk. 

Although these were very “special” moments in sports history, I would like to discuss the fact that it has come to my attention that pretty soon, we’re going to be watching a bunch of grown men running around pulling flags from each other’s pants on Sundays.  Of course, I am referring to the ridiculous fines being implemented on players just doing their jobs.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not wish harm on any player in football, but let them do their jobs!  Stopping the opposing team from scoring is what they get paid to do, and paid ALOT, I might add. 

I do have to say when I first heard about the $75,000 helmet hit, I didn’t think much of it because I did not see the game.  It wasn’t until I learned that these fines are delved out even if it wasn’t consider a penalty, which Harrison’s was not, did I start to pay more attention.   What The?!  So let me get this straight, if a player, doing what he gets paid to do, tackles an opposing player “inappropriately”  as deemed by the NFL, a penalty may not be forthcoming but a fine will. 

I guess I just don’t understand how a game like football can be played without a few bumps, bruises and bang-ups.  Intentionally hitting a player in an uncalled for  manner, and being penalized for it, I agree with, but come on already, unintentionally, it happens.  These guys are 300+ lbs running at speeds us couch potatoes can’t even think about, how can we expect them to stop mid-tackle, scope out their target area to make sure its “appropriate” and adjust.   My dogs can’t even do it, and their only 70 lbs.  Usually, they are very agile, but I can’t tell you how my times they’ve slammed themselves into something because they were focused on the task at hand (being the first one to the tennis ball).

Ok so here’s my questions, if its ok to fine for an unpenalized hit, how about this?  If the defense is playing hard and sacking the quarterback so many times, they give him a concussion, instead of tagging the defensive players how about fining the offensive line for NOT DOING THEIR JOBS! 

Millions people, these guys get paid millions and maybe to them 75k is not a whole lot, but its taking the game out football because you can’t tell me it doesn’t mess with the players’ minds.   This keeps up, like it or not, the jobs they get paid to do won’t get done to the best of their ability, and the game they are out there to play is gonna be sissified.  I don’t know about you, even as much as I love the game, that’s not something I’m interested in watching.

Faith Restored

About a month ago I inadvertently conducted a test of human compassion and good Samaritan tendencies.  I say inadvertently because it was not my intention or wish to be in this particular situation.  In fact, it was a frustrating scenario, but since I found myself in place where I was stuck anyway I thought I  mine as well observe the behavior of our fellow neighbors, and damn was I intrigued by the outcome.

My car had overheated, and when I say overheated I mean it was spewing liquid from the engine, and the dashboard was beeping incessantly at me trying to alarm me that something was wrong.  In an attempt to figure out where the annoying sound was coming from and why in the world the car was slowing down without my letting off the accelerator, I immediately pulled into the nearest gas station and called home for help (who was about 30 minutes away).  While I was waiting with my hood up, bored and finished with the Snickers bar I bought from inside, out of curiosity, I thought I see how long it would take for someone to offer assistance or even ask if I needed help.   The answer…35 minutes!  Now you may not think that was a long time, but let me give you a little insight–I was approximately half way home and had stalled at a very busy intersection in a very busy gas station.  I really tried to count the number of people who pulled up, pumped gas, looked at me with “feel sorry for me” eyes and drove away, but I lost count.  Finally, as soon as my home help pulled up to my rescue, a young man, who, I have to admit, at first sight I wasn’t quite sure of, but who was the ONLY person that stopped and asked if I was ok or if I needed help.  What a wonderful young man and shame on me for judging at first sight.  THANK YOU, you reassured me, even if you were the only one, that there are still good people in this world.

35 minutes??  I may not be a supermodel, but come on people!  After this incident, I lost faith in the notion that kindness still exists and I was going to rant through my entire post , until I had yet another encounter the other day.

I, again, was in a quandary and somehow got the same car stuck in soft sand put down by the diligent town that buried the pipes in front of my son’s father’s house.  It was so bad that the “quicksand” had swallowed up the front tires and almost the front end of the car.  In a small panic, we (myself and my ex’s new girlfriend) attempted to shovel out and place 2x4s behind the tires.  In an amazing change of events as compared to my last car adventure, about 1 minute after I became unable to secure solid ground, a good Samaritan stopped his truck to help.  Without hesitation, he attempted to figure a way out of my mess of a situation, while in the meantime, another car pulled up and didn’t even ask if he could help, he just did.   After a little planning and little conferencing, they were successful in pulling me out, and if that wasn’t enough, they both waited to see that I made it to the road, which I did NOT.  Getting myself stuck for the second time they immediately jumped from the vehicles and repeated the entire process, this time making sure they pulled me to SOLID ground. 

My faith was restored and the chip on my shoulder lifted after I realized that people can really give a crap and there are still good Samaritans out there.  Thank you to the thoughtful and PATIENT guys who stopped to help the helpless probably on your way home from a long day of work! 

Lets start paying it forward just like they did and begin to restore the faith in our fellow neighbors that has somewhere gotten lost along the way!!