Something To Talk About

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Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

If you know people are talking about a friend of yours behind her back, do you tell her?  Or do you talk to the people who are gossiping or….both?

It was submitted by: http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

“Gossip is what no one claims to like, but everybody enjoys.” Joseph Conrad

Whenever I think of the word “gossip”, I always picture in my mind Mrs. Oleson from Little House on the Prairie.

It didn’t always carry such a negative connotation. The word gossip began use as a noun, meaning “god sibling, or intimate friend.” Shakespeare actually began using the word as a derogatory verb to describe mostly female behavior and the word has evolved from there to the way we think of and use it today.

I think my answer to this particular question depends on a wide variety of circumstances.  I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer here.  Maybe I’m complicating it unnecessarily and for many of you, it’s very simple.  Or maybe, like me, you can think of hundred scenarios in which you would react differently depending on many factors/reasons.

I remember talking with a friend and for some reason she decided to divulge an extremely sensitive secret about not only a co-worker, but this person also happened to be my boss.  They were friends, good friends, before she became “the boss.” She shared many personal details about her life with the friend sitting in front of me on this day.  Why she decided to blurt out this particular secret to me, I still don’t understand to this day. I immediately felt extremely uncomfortable.  This wasn’t the idle chitchat of two bored co-workers. This wasn’t one friend venting to another or seeking advice.  I felt like a bomb had been detonated.  I didn’t respond.  The silence stretched on.  I knew she regretted her outburst almost immediately.  Her red face leaning in to whisper that of course, I can’t tell ANYONE about the truth bomb she lit underneath me. I felt off-kilter. I felt guilty for even knowing this tidbit of information about my boss.  I hurt for her.  I felt the violation deeply in my soul.  I continued to let my friend fill the silence with nervous pratting. My mind racing, trying to wrap my head around this newfound knowledge.

I agonized over this information for days.  It changed, not the way I felt for my boss, I didn’t lose respect for her, if anything my respect for her had grown, I just felt so uneasy knowing this facet of her personal life that I know she would never have told me voluntarily, that it did affect the way I interacted with her.  It wasn’t my business but I couldn’t unknow it.  Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I had to tell her.  If the situation were reversed, I would want to know that this piece of information was floating around out there.  If this “friend” had told me, then it was certainly possible she had told others.  I wasn’t sure what she could do about it, but I felt very convicted that telling her was the right thing to do.  Right or wrong, I took her to lunch one day, and I told her.  She handled the whole situation with so much grace.  She admitted that while it wasn’t something for which she felt ashamed, it was deeply personal and not something she necessarily wanted out there in her work environment.  She was extremely disappointed and hurt by our mutual friend.  If she ever confronted her, I don’t know.  It wasn’t something I ever discussed again with either of them.

It brought into sharp focus the inherent danger in gossip.  How quickly it can take an ugly turn.  I don’t understand the motive behind telling me this particular secret on this particular day.  It seemed she was hoping to undermine my respect for my boss, but I really don’t understand why and when it comes down to it, the why doesn’t really matter.  She was wrong for sharing it.  It was a confidence she shared with another, a confidence she betrayed, a bond she destroyed and a friendship and working relationship irrevocably changed in a negative way.  My heart hurt for my boss.  Did I do the right thing in telling her?  I don’t know.  I hope so.  At the very least, I thought it would make her think twice before sharing information with this particular person again.

A serious trust was violated that day.  I’m always very careful about what I share with others.  Only a very few special people deserve the title, “heart friend”.  You know, that person that would help you bury the body and carry the secret to his/her grave.  I think gossip can be a very natural and healthy way to communicate among friends, but we must tread carefully and respectfully.  Words spoken aloud can’t be undone.  Words are powerful.  As women particularly, we are quick to tear each other down instead of lift each other up.  Gossip can be positive.  It can be used to describe the ways in which people communicate in community with one another.  It can promote bonding between friends. I believe it is a necessary part of our humanity, bringing us closer, helping to identify and set up moral boundaries.  Gossip becomes dangerous when it turns into theft of another’s reputation.  Gossip can be neutral and positive, but it can also be malicious and hurtful.  Typically, we know the difference when we hear it or when we speak it.

There is a Jewish proverb that says, “And your speech is like the feathers scattered on the wind. Once your words have left your lips, they, too, cannot be gathered again. From now on, be careful of what you say.”

Words to certainly live by ❤

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Spatulas on Parade                   http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Blogging 911                   http://theblogging911.com

The Lieber Family Blog                     http://thelieberfamily.com

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen      http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Southern Belle Charm                    http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope               http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Part-time Working Hockey Mom       http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch

Climaxed                                          http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Warning: Instructions Not Included

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Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

How are you most like your parents? How are your most different from them?

It was submitted by: http://thelieberfamily.com    

Reading my secret subject this month literally made me cringe. I procrastinated writing for days, when I finally did write, I wrote…I deleted…I wrote again…I deleted again. Now here I am at the last minute trying to throw something together. The thing is I’ve been estranged from my parents for almost 6 years. This topic hit me hard, it took me back to places I’d rather not visit, emotions I thought I’d gotten in control, feelings I positively believed I’d handled. I’ve always prided myself on my transparency. What you see is what you get, and I’ve strived to always be honest about my struggles in pretty much every area of my life, except this one. It hurts too much. I don’t know that it will ever not hurt. Has what I’ve been through and experienced changed the way I parent or view parenting?  Absolutely. Someday I might be ready and willing to talk about familial estrangement and how it not only changed my life, but changed the way I think and feel as a parent.  I’m just not there yet, and I can’t figure out how to write about this subject without going there, and I’m just not ready to go there. Forgiveness is a tricky thing. I’ve learned it’s not something you do just once and all is forgotten. Forgiveness is a daily practice.  Some days I’m better at it than others. Today is not that day.

So, I decided to focus instead on questioning whether parenting is harder today than it was when I was a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. I saw this meme on Facebook and it made me laugh and gave me this idea for a spin on my secret subject this month.

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Can you relate?

It’s enough to make your head spin.

Is parenting harder today? The short answer is no. Parenting IS hard, regardless of decade or century, time or place. In my opinion, the biggest difference that exists today that makes parenting seem so much harder is the judgment. Everyone has an opinion about how YOU should raise YOUR kids and they aren’t shying away from feeling they have the right to tell you all about it.

I remember riding my bike to the local 7-11 with my allowance money and buying all the candy I could afford. My sister would ration hers out so that it lasted a long time, but not me. I ate all that candy in pretty much one sitting and then plotted and schemed to figure out how to get into my sister’s stash. I saw a mom on Facebook get absolutely reamed as a bad mother because she bought her daughter the infamous unicorn Frappuccino at Starbucks. Because it was her daughter’s birthday. Because her daughter loved unicorns. This poor mom was forever stamped and labeled by strangers as winning the title for Worst Mom Of The Year award. Clearly she doesn’t love her kid, otherwise she would NEVER let her have a beverage filled with so much sugar and artificial ingredients and colors.

Everyone is an expert on how to raise YOUR kids, except you.

I’m sure everyone remembers the tragic death of the gorilla, Harambe, in the Cincinnati Zoo that was killed after a 3 year old climbed into his enclosure. The mother that took her eye off of her child for probably 2 seconds, received death threats and screams of outrage that her children be taken away from her.

We are so quick to jump on the parenting fail bandwagon. Is it because it makes us feel better about our own parenting? When did we become so unforgiving and harsh to each other? Certainly there are bad parents out there that probably deserve condemnation, censure, critical and harsh judgment and shouldn’t be allowed in the presence of children ever. I’m not talking about those parents and I think most of us know the difference. It’s become almost an olympic sport to publicly eviscerate any parenting style that differs from our own or what has been acknowledged as politically correct.

I don’t know about you, but I fail as a parent ALL THE TIME.  Like many other parents, I’ve felt the sting of judgment from my peers, the looks, the “well-intentioned” advice and opinions. I’ve somehow resisted the strong urge to punch all of them in the face. I feel that entitles me to an award of some kind! I don’t need you to tell me how I’ve failed, there are hundreds of articles published daily all over the internet to ensure I never feel good about the decisions I’ve made as a parent, how I’ve failed my kids on some level and how messed up they are in general.  I mean I’ve raised three millennials, and apparently they are the WORST generation EVER. (insert sarcasm)

I think most of us are doing the best we can. I believe two basic things as a parent.

  1. I neither deserve all the credit nor all the blame for how my adult children have turned out, the decisions they make, the people they’ve become.  They are autonomous creatures unto themselves navigating the same murky waters, making similar mistakes or inventing new ones all on their own. They are human. I am human. We are perfectly imperfect and made in His image, meant to be loved, cherished, protected, accepted and embraced for not only our similarities but also for the things that make us beautifully unique and different.
  2. Forgiveness. Unfortunately parenting is a learn as you go type of education, and it’s not one-size fits all. Forgive yourself. As a parent, show your kids you can admit when you are wrong. You can own your mistakes. The words “I’m sorry” go both ways.  They will fail you as children, and you will fail them as parents. Forgiveness. It’s one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal. There needs to be more of it in the world today. We are quick to judge, slow to forgive. We need to turn that concept on its head, judge less and forgive more. No one has it all figured out. No one.

If you see a mom or dad struggling with their kids today, give him/her a word of encouragement. Even a smile. A sympathetic nod. Let them know and feel that they are not in this parenting thing alone, they are not doing it all wrong, and that you’ve got their back. Remember that golden rule we learned in Kindergarten? If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything at all. Resist that urge to make a snap judgment about a parenting style you witnessed at your kids school or in line at the grocery store or at a restaurant and then post about it on Facebook so all your friends can jump on the parenting fail bandwagon making you feel justified and vindicated, confident in the knowledge that you are at least better than one parent out there. If you’re like most parents, you beat yourself up all the time about the mistakes you’ve made, you don’t need someone else swinging that bat for you. You need someone to take the bat away and give you a hug instead. Tell you it’s going to be okay. You are not alone. You are not a failure. You’ve got this. We’ve got this. Together.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Spatulas on Parade                   http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Blogging 911                   http://theblogging911.com

The Lieber Family Blog                     http://thelieberfamily.com

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                   http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen      http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Southern Belle Charm                    http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Confessions of a part-time working mom            http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

Not That Sarah Michelle                    http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

Climaxed                                    http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

 

Momma Got Schooled

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Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

Office ~ great ~ pillows ~ cat ~ hat

They were submitted by: http://www.southernbellecharm.com

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

If you’ve been following my blog at all then you know that we recently decided to homeschool our son.  We’ve only been doing it since feels like forever January and it’s definitely taken some getting used to on both our parts.  I would definitely say it’s been very positive and I’ve seen so much growth in him already.  I just miss my free time.  A little.  Or maybe a lottle.

I wouldn’t trade this time for anything.  We’ve definitely bonded over this experience and I’m proud to be such a positive influence in my son’s daily learning environment.  The confidence he’s exhibited in his abilities and the leaps and bounds he’s growing both emotionally and mentally just can’t be measured, but…

I am never alone.  NEVER.  Like ever.

And we downsized so now there is even less space for me to never be alone in.  Sometimes, if I’m being honest, it’s a little claustrophobic.  I long for the days when I could walk around the house stark naked eating ice-cream and watching soap operas with absolutely no one around to judge me.  Not that any of those things actually happened…that you can prove anyway…but you get my point.  I knew that sacrifices would be made, and apparently spontaneous nudity and ice-cream bingeing are the proverbial lambs in this scenario.  Anyway, this blog isn’t about my nudity (thank goodness!), it’s about using words in a sentence or a collection of sentences that form, in this case, a blog post.  Words I don’t get to choose.  Much like my son’s weekly spelling assignments in which he has to make sentences out of a few of his spelling words.  This has got to be the worst segue ever but I really struggled with how I was going to use these words, and then this week my son had a spelling assignment and suddenly I knew exactly how I was going to use the words I’d been given!

In his “brick and mortar” school (I’m so down with the home-school lingo), my little man HATED writing.  And reading.  And math.  Ok pretty much everything but recess and lunch.  Now, one of his favorite assignments are turning his spelling words into a paragraphical work of art (his words).  He is supposed to write individual sentences for each word choice, but he’s taken liberties with this assignment and turned his spelling words into a mini 1 to 4 sentence story paragraph.  I let him go with it, because he’s never been this creative when it comes to writing.  He loves to read to me what he comes up with and it’s fun to see him excited about writing and spelling.

In this weeks assignment the words were: trustworthy, desert, competition, dessert, qualify and flame.

“The trustworthy kids were in the desert in a competition for dessert but you had to qualify by putting your foot in a flame!”

I mean genius right?!?!

Ok, here’s another!

The words were: handsome, accountant, minimum, adjectives, blindfold and gentleman

“Once on a dark cold winter day, there was a very handsome gentleman named Lazy Larry.  Lazy Larry was an accountant making minimum wage, even though he also studies the art of amazing, awesome adjectives and before he sleeps each night he puts on a blindfold and that is the end of the story of Lazy Larry.”

And my personal favorite!

The words were: muscle, muscular, customary, quest, principal and principle (spelling danger words (homographs) are so fun!)

“Once there was a very muscular man and even his muscles had muscle and his name was Man, which was customary back then.  He lived in a cave.  He was a caveman on a quest to be the best caveman with the principle to never hurt anyone, either large or small.  Unfortunately, Man served a principal named Guy, also customary. Guy was mean, but Man got to leave on this amazing adventure and was never seen again because there was a meteor.  The end.”

I asked for his help on my words and he respectfully declined.  Apparently, he’s done HIS work for the day and he can’t be responsible for MY work and I shouldn’t have procrastinated.  It really sucks when your kids use your own words against you.

So, in the spirit of channeling my inner 5th grade boy, I present to you my most magnificent paragraphical work of USE MY WORDS art!

My words again are:  Office ~ great ~ pillows ~ cat ~ hat

“In the office of the land’s great seat of power sits a cat, on a stack of pillows because he’s a cat and otherwise wouldn’t be able to see over the desk without it, wearing a hat so tall they had to build a special skylight above the desk to accommodate it’s great size which is fitting for the cat’s great responsibility in the office of the land’s great seat of power.”

Clearly, my son comes by his gifts naturally.  So I read my work of genius to him and I got…silence.  Nothing but silence.  Then he says, maybe I should help you.  And pats me gently on the back, shaking his head sadly.

He tells me to sit and he’ll show me how it’s done…

Here is his contribution:

“The amazing office with the great pillows had a grand cat but an odd cat.  This cat was wearing a hat and this cat was called the cat with the hat.”

I mean…  There is a very clear winner here.  Right?

Dr. Seuss either of us are not.  Obviously.

But I still think we both make the grade and the best part of my day is when we get to be silly like this and laugh with each other.  Way better than spontaneous nudity and alone time is overrated.  I’ll cherish these moments forever and ever.  Amen.

(maybe I can join a senior retirement nudist camp in my twilight years…so there’s that)

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.bakinginatornado.com

Spatulas on Parade                   http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver        http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                        http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/

On the Border                           http://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/

Bookworm in the Kitchen             http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Simply Shannon                           http://shannonbutler.org

Southern Belle Charm                    http://www.southernbellecharm.com

The Angrivated Mom                      http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

Climaxed                                      http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Not That Sarah Michelle                 http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

Memory Lane

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Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

My words are:

mail ~ light ~ processing ~ ready ~ flea market

They were submitted by: http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

As you may or may not know, I’ve had a long-standing love affair with Adam Levine.  If our relationship were a Facebook status it would read “it’s complicated.” We’ve certainly weathered our fair share of storms over the years.  We had some really good times, Adam and I.

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Our Christmas photo from a few years back

Ours was truly a star-crossed love, timing was never really on our side.  Fate can be a cruel mistress.  I’m still processing our separation these past few years, but it all inevitably comes surging back as “The Voice” airs on television each season.  I haven’t really felt ready to face the pain of the distance forced between us by circumstances beyond our control.

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Our romantic beach hideaway vacation

 

I was reminiscing about my twitter campaign for Adam love a few years ago, back when I had twitter followers and was quite active on twitter.  He can’t follow me on twitter for obvious reasons, you know the whole secret part of our epic love story, but I thought what better way to throw the paparazzi off the scent than to pretend I was desperate for Adam to follow me on twitter, so I launched the “follow me Adam” campaign.  I had the majority of my followers tweeting Adam begging politely requesting that Adam should definitely follow me on Twitter.  He’d pick random normal every day people to follow from time to time and while there was nothing ordinary or every day about our love, he could have pretended and followed me back.  He’s overly cautious my Adam, and didn’t want to throw a giant spotlight on our romance, so alas I have to report that he never did follow me on twitter (sad emoji).

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Our winter wonderland kind of love

Sometimes I think perhaps I should mail in my singing demo to “The Voice,” just to get on the show so I can see him again.  Not that I can sing.  At all.  But I mean this is my fantasy so obviously I would get on the show.  I’d be wearing some cute vintage 80’s outfit I picked up at a flea market outside of town.  I’d even krimp my hair (is that back yet?) I’d be some hybrid Cyndi Lauper/Madonna type performer.  Obviously, he’d recognize me instantly.  The shock of seeing me again turning his hair blonde…(not a good look).  I’d get a four chair turn where I’d pretend to be giddy about Blake and those dimples, but really I’d only have eyes for Adam.  And he wouldn’t be able to look away (obviously).  We’d have a moment.  A lingering full body hug.  He’d whisper secret things in my ear.  I can’t tell you!  It’s a secret.  I’d feel all warm, fuzzy and validated.  It would be just like old times.

(Adam, if you’re reading this and why wouldn’t you be (duh!), you can follow me on Instagram.  I won’t tell…hardly anyone.  Much. Ish.  I promise (fingers crossed). You really should.  You know you want to.  Why deny yourself life’s little pleasures?  Doooooo eeeeeeet.  <3)

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One of my all-time favorite pics of us!

Thanks for indulging me on this walk down memory lane. I’ll leave you with these pics of our children, or what our children would have looked like rather had we had them together.  Assuming of course we didn’t have a love child or two.  Or did we?  Stay vigilant, you never know…

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

 

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.bakinginatornado.com

Spatulas on Parade                   http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver        http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

On the Border                           http://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy             http://dinoheromommy.com/

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Confessions of a part time working mom       http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

Southern Belle Charm                    http://www.southernbellecharm.com

The Angrivated Mom                          http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

Climaxed                                        http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Not That Sarah Michelle                    http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

Have Courage, Be Kind

Use Your Words

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

Blue ~ Balloon ~ Bubbles ~ Park ~ Strawberry ~ Miracle

They were submitted by: http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.


I’m sitting here, eating a strawberry, trying to figure out what I want to write about and how to fit in these words.  I’ll be honest, my inspiration for what I wanted to write about hit me literally in the middle of the night, and the only word I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate was strawberry, so I decided to eat one and tell you about it.  I’d even go so far as to say that I bought them with the express purpose of having one to eat, but I’m not that organized.

I usually shy away from hot button topics, not because I’m short on opinions or afraid of confrontation, but because that’s just never what my blog has been about.  It’s always been a place to confront my own failings and shortcomings as a wife, mother and woman in a hopefully humorous style, shining a bright light on all my imperfections and inviting you to laugh along at me or with me.

I’ll be the first to admit that in general I probably suck at this parenting thing.  My mistakes more numerous than the stars in the sky or grains of sand on the beach.  Thankfully, my mistakes have never been broadcast on a global scale for everyone to see.  I’ve never been tried in the court of public opinion, found lacking, and verbally executed for my failings as a mother or as a wife.  I’ve been lucky.  I’ve dodged my fair share of bullets.

Which brings me to my point.

The death of the Cincinnati Zoo’s 17 year old rare silverback gorilla, Harambe, left me feeling blue.  I watched the videos with the same mix of horror and sadness as everyone else.  It was awful, a tragedy, as the loss of any life should be.  If you for some reason have no clue what I’m talking about, just google the name “Harambe” or “Cincinnati Zoo” to bring yourself up to speed and then tell me what rock you’ve been living under so I can join you, I’ll bring food.  And fun, frothy beverages. The story was appallingly horrific and my heart goes out to the mother, the child, every witness of the tragic event as well as the zoo officials.  But what I found equally horrific, was how quickly and easily everyone turned on the mother of the child that fell into that enclosure.  Or jumped.  Or climbed and fell.  Whatever group of adjectives you want to string together to describe what happened that day.  Comments on the event ranged from “that mom should be in jail” to “the child should be shot”. I took myself off social media and avoided the television for a few days because I couldn’t even fully process the things I was hearing and reading.  The angry vehemence and hatred of the masses, the opinions, the statements, the public outcry so vicious and quick, on both sides of the proverbial fence.  The whole incident left me feeling bruised and heartbroken.  I just wanted everyone to stop, take a moment.  Take a breath.  Think.

I was completely blown away by the hatred and condemnation pouring forth from the lips of both parents and non-parents alike.  I hate to stick a pin in the “that would NEVER happen to me because I’m the perfect parent/person” balloon, but what happened that day could have happened to ANY of us.  It was a freak accident that couldn’t have been predicted or anticipated.  It was a tragedy that couldn’t have been foretold.  When did it become so easy as parents, or even human beings to turn on one another?  Those fingers of judgment pointing, condemning, so quickly, so harshly.  When did mom or parental shaming become a sport or national pastime? Is it fear that makes us react so?  Because deep down, we know it could just as easily have been one of us?

I don’t know what kind of mother or person she is in her daily life, but my heart goes out to her.  We’d all like to wrap our kids in safety bubbles before we send them forth in this big and scary world, because we know that our eyes and hands can’t be everywhere, foreseeing every twist and turn in the crazy and sometimes terrifying journey of parenthood. We’ve all taken our eye off the ball, gotten distracted.  I left my infant daughter strapped in her carseat on top of the washing machine at home and didn’t realize it till I got to the grocery story and opened the back door of my car to get her out.  The feeling I got when I realized I had forgotten her, I can’t even describe the panic, the paralyzing fear I felt in that moment.  I couldn’t get home fast enough, my mind racing to all the horrific possibilities.  What if my house caught on fire?  What if by some freak accident, her car seat fell off the washing machine and crashed to the floor.  What would people have said about me if any of those scenarios had happened.  How could she forget her child?  She should be shot! Her kid should be taken away!  She should be in jail! Worse mother ever!  She was fine.  I was lucky.  It took days for the guilt and fear of those few moments to leave me.  Even now, 21 years later, I still feel sick to my stomach thinking of it.

Or the time, our entire family was at the beach.  It was crowded.  It had been a long day.  We gathered everyone up to head home, half of us heading to the car, the other half to the outdoor showers to rinse off the sand and sunscreen sticking to our bodies.  So none of us noticed immediately that we had left my youngest daughter behind, she couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old.  We dropped everything and ran back, screaming her name.  She was standing right there where we left her.  Crying.  There aren’t words I could put down right now to convey how I felt as a mother in those terrifying moments.  What if she had been snatched up?  Or wandered into the ocean by herself?  What would the headlines say about me?  She was fine.  It’s a story we still talk about today, some 14 years later.  A cautionary tale. Again, I was lucky.

I can’t quantify how many times I’ve taken my eyes off my kids, even for a second, at the park, the store, the mall, or even the zoo.  Anywhere. Everywhere. By some miracle, I’ve managed to raise 3 of my 4 kids to adulthood, relatively unscathed.  I’m loathe to even put that down in writing, I don’t want to invite trouble.  Make no mistake though, it’s not because I’m a better parent.  I’ve been lucky, blessed even.  Don’t get me wrong, I feel wretched about what happened to Harambe.  Could it have been prevented?  Maybe.  Possibly.  Honestly though, that’s true about anything.  It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback a situation, talk about how you would have done it differently, or better.  In some ways, I think it’s healthy and natural to have those kinds of conversations.  Learn from our mistakes, move forward.  When it comes to situations like this, we certainly don’t want history to repeat itself.  But when did it become ok to do so in a way so hateful, nasty and downright violent?  When did we all become so collectively “perfect” that we can eagerly and quickly tear down this mother, this family, this child or the zoo.  This parenting thing is hard.  Imagine if we spent more time building each other up and supporting each other rather than tearing each other down, ripping each other apart or pointing that finger of judgment and condemnation.  Take a moment and really think about the mistakes you’ve made that could have gone another way, and imagine those mistakes caught on film and broadcast for the whole world to see.  I don’t know about you, but that shuts my mouth in a hurry.

I hate what happened.  My heart hurts for everyone involved.  EVERYONE.

Woulda.

Coulda.

Shoulda.

These are easy words to shine in the face of someone else’s mistakes.  Be careful though, one day you might find that spotlight shining down on you.  How would you want to be treated? Remembered?  Should we be defined only by the mistakes we’ve made?  I sincerely hope not, or I’m doomed, and so I would venture to guess, are most of you.  If you’ve never screwed up or made a mistake, please contact me, tell me how you do it. I’d love to learn from you, save myself from the inevitable guilt and sorrow of my future failings and shortcomings.

Otherwise, in the words of Cinderella:

“Have courage and be kind.”

Always.  Especially to each other. Let us stand up for one another.  Be a friend, be a champion.  Love one another, that basic golden rule, so easy in theory, so difficult in practice, not in spite of our failures and mistakes, but because of them.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking in a Tornado

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com

Confessions of a part-time working mom

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

All Good Things…

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Use Your Words

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

My words are:

barren ~ forget ~ calamity ~ sovereign ~ smooth ~ lofty

They were submitted by: http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

I think I have mentioned once or twice, in passing, about my obsession love affair with Adam Levine. He’s inspired many blog posts over the years.

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Oh goodness, we had some really good times together.  In the day to day bustle of life, it’s easy to forget how true was our love, however imaginary brief it might have been. I’ve boxed away those treasured times in the annals of my heart’s desires, the memories too painful to revisit upon daily reflection. Our love was true.  Our parting, oh sweet parting, was the greatest calamity of our time. The love affair to end all other love affairs smashed upon the rocky shores of circumstance. The tidal wave of memories washing over me, bittersweet.

It’s difficult to fathom that he would willingly give up all this…

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For this…

Behati-Prinsloo-4

To each their own I suppose…

Our love a barren landscape now, stripped of the beautiful purity and divine emotion it once held sovereign. 

Our love defined the lofty expectations of the loveless and forgotten. A light to behold in the window of the heart, a beacon to all who gaze upon it, nevermore. Lost.  Adrift in the sea of bitterness and betrayal. Gone forever. Like the awesome twitter account I deleted in a fit of pique, that Adam never followed, even after months and months of campaigning, begging, pleading…but that’s beside the point. Or not the point rather. I’m not sure of the point, now that I think on it… Points are overrated.

For the record, Adam looked like this in the midst of our whirlwind love affair –

But with she-who-must-not-be-named, he has turned into this –

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DR. EVIL! I wonder if it’s smooth or stubbly…

AND this –

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SHE HAS RUINED HIM!

I can’t even…

I have no words… (’cause I used all 6 already, not that I’m braggin’)

I’m sorry I can barely even type, my eyes drawn to the horror that is that blonde monstrosity sticking up all over his head. He seems to be having trouble finding himself these days, could it be…dare I say it, because he is truly lost without me? I suppose we shall never know.

Oh Adam… As the saying goes, “all good things…” and all that. We must end the madness of our longing, that which will never be again.  The season has passed on our great love, and it’s time we both move forward, forging new paths, however…blonde or bald.

You have to let me go.  Choices have been made, promises given. I will forever treasure our time together, however brief. I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors.  Don’t worry, I’ll still be your faithful stalker follower on The Voice, cheering you on to success.

Just remember, any children you have with she-who-shall-not-be-named will never be as precious or beautiful as our own children would have been…

It’s with tears in my eyes, that I bid you…

ADIEU ❤

(I’m keeping the t-shirt though, and I might still occasionally wear it to bed and hug myself tight…)

Adam Shirt

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible!” Audrey Hepburn

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

 

http://bakinginatornado.com

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/

http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/

http://dinoheromommy.com/

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

A Pig and an Owl Walk into a Bar…

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” – Yehuda Berg

Use Your Words

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

My words are:

velvet ~ ham ~ spanked ~ batman ~ owl

They were submitted by: http://dinoheromommy.com/

I’ve carried these words around with me all week hoping inspiration would strike.  Well, strike it did.  In the form of one man-child.  

Yep, man-child strikes again.  In the car.  

man-child: “Mom?”

me: “Hmmm?”

man-child: “I know what I want to be for Halloween.”

me: “Halloween?  You know it’s not for like…8 months right?”

man-child: “Yeah.”

me: “Well it seems a bit early to be planning Halloween, just sayin’.”

man-child: “Yeah well…do you want to know what I decided to be for Halloween?”

me: “Sure.”

man-child: “Ask me?”

me: “Ask you what?”

man-child:  sighs

man-child: ” Ask me what I want to be for Halloween!”

me:  sighs

me: “What do you want to be for Halloween?”

man-child: “I’m not telling you, you have to guess!

me: “I don’t feel like playing the guessing game.”

me (thinking): wait!  I think I have a way to work my words into a blog post about this conversation!  I’m brilliant!  Yay me!  Whew, such a relief!

me: “okay okay, I’ll guess.”

man-child: “yay!”

me (thinking) you have no idea kid!

me: “A pig?  Cause you know, you’re such a ham?”

man-child: “A ham? Mom (shaking his head), if I was a pig, I’d totally be bacon. But NO!  Wrong guess. Guess again!”

me: “hmmmm. Let me think.”

me: “A red velvet cupcake?”

man-child: “What?!  Mom! These are terrible guesses. Are you even trying?!”

me (thinking): if you only knew…

me: “What do you mean? That was an excellent guess!”

man-child: “A cupcake mom?!?! Why are you being weird, guess for serious! A cupcake… I mean, come on!” 

me: “Desperate measures kid! Desperate measures!”

man-child shaking his head.

me: “Ok.  Ummm.  Let me think.  Okay! I got one!”

man-child: waiting patiently

me: “a sad Carolina Panther fan after getting spanked by the Denver Broncos?”

man-child: “Mom!” (face palm) “Do you even know me!? Just forget it.  BATMAN!  I’m going to be BATMAN!”

Confession: now I was pretty sure he was going to say Batman.  The movie is coming out very soon and the whole Batman vs Superman debate is a regular feature in our house.  If he hadn’t said batman, that would have sucked, but I’m sure I could have worked it in a conversation somehow. I’m pretty impressed with myself, working these words into our conversation.  I’d pat myself on the back, but I’d probably throw my back out.  Of course now I just have one word left…

man-child: “Oh, I have jokes. Wanna hear them?”

me: “Sure.”

man-child: “What do you get when a dinosaur fights with a pig?”

me: “I have no idea.”

man-child: “Jurassic Pork!”

man-child laughs hysterically at his own joke, which is actually funnier than the joke itself.  

man-child:  “What do you get when you play tug-o-war with a pig?”

me: “No clue?”

man-child: “A pulled pork!”

man-child: bhahahahahhahahaahhahahahahahahahahaha

man-child: wipes tears from his eyes

man-child: “ok, one more. Ready?”

me: “Go for it!”

man-child: “What do you call a magic owl?”

I almost wrecked the car when he said my final word! We need to take this show on the road! I’m laughing before I even know the punchline which makes him laugh harder so he can barely tell me.  I love this kid so much!

man-child: “A Hoo-dini!”

Brilliant!

May you be as excited for your weekend as this precious pup!

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” Plautus

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

http://bakinginatornado.com

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/

http://dinoheromommy.com/

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com