It seemed like it was going to start off like any other day but it took a different turn when I reached for the milk for the freshly brewed cup of coffee and….there was no milk.
Actually, there was milk, but when I poured it into my coffee it started to clump and made me realize it was, “less than fresh”. It seemed as if today was going to be like all the days before, so I shrugged my shoulders, bowed my head and resigned to the fact, today was going to suck. A no coffee start to the day was not a good sign of happiness, I need my coffee.
As a wave of frustration came over me, I took the cup of coffee and threw it, “today is going to be different I yelled at the cup as it hit the floor shattering, things are NOT going to continue this way!
And then my day began.
Actually, my mind wanted to throw it but anyone who knows me, I would never break my favorite coffee mug, but things need to change. First off, how I was doing things, including not having fresh milk for my coffee.
I have more than enough coffee mugs each one is my favorite in one way or another. Ya know, the one you bought on that trip to Disney or the one that was given to you as a birthday present. It is a mug, nothing more but the fact that it carries the very drug you need to function in the morning as it wakes you up and gives you the confidence of the day, they all are important.
Sometimes though, the lack of milk or a bad cup of coffee can make you stop liking that certain mug. I do not know, work with me here, it seems that now that I thought about throwing this mug it no longer held me to the memory of how it became a favorite mug.
The violent act of throwing it and watching it shatter to pieces can be liberating. If done with a loud, Argh! or some other sound of frustrated anger, could make one feel oh, so much better. I think you know what I am saying, the release of whatever seems to be deep with in the soul and taken out on this otherwise meaningless coffee mug, can make you feel liberated.
So, I guess I am saying that when you throw the mug….make sure there is no hot coffee in it.
I was slapped in the face the other day. It hurt, stung and even made me cry. It was not because I was in a fight or even arguing with someone, it was because I needed it. A “wake up” moment, a hands in the air “what are you thinking” moment.
It seems as if I had gotten so far away from being rational as a parent that I was acting totally …..stupid.
Some would just shrugged it off and others may say, “that’s okay”, while some would jump in and say, “this is the moment you needed.” I am not trying to be harsh on myself or too lenient either but when you are a parent, you can sometimes act really stupid…yes, stupid.
I knew the day would come that my daughter would drive a car. I just kept putting the thought off that some how that moment was really, really far a way, The other day I was sitting with her in the testing area for just that, her getting approval that she would have a license. Then she came up to me with a huge smile on her face I smiled but somewhere deep in side of me was crying. My little girl was no longer a little girl. She was headed out on her own. Selfishly I said to myself, “I have the car all the time, she will need me to drive her everywhere.”
Then, by the grace of God, her dad bought her a car. At first, I was excited and grateful for such a gesture, then, I realized, she did not need me anymore. She had her own transportation. I began to act silly, yelling at her, grounding her for no reason and just being… a parent.
I was conflicted, could not understand why I was so agitated at the new purchase or why I was just being mean. It was a wonderful thing that she had this new car. A symbol to her that she was growing up and could now travel anywhere she wanted, what a wonderful thing! In my mind it terrified me. What if she got hit by someone, does she know how to pump gas, does she know how to stop in time? The scenarios raced through my mind. I was not happy, scared and fearful that she would be hurt.
I think mostly I was afraid she would not need me anymore. That she would be a ghost, someone who would see me, “on occasion.” My life has been dedicated to this wonderful child. Each day has been filled with, how to take care of her. I was sad, I felt like she did not need me anymore.
“What!” You think that after all this time all I would do is walk away?” She bellowed at me one day while talking about some issue that we were not agreeing on.
This was not one of her temper tantrums I was used to, it was an adult reaction to someone else acting like a child and that someone else was…me.
The slap in the face. The moment of truth.
I can say that since that day I am more understanding and tolerant of her stepping out. I attempt to treat her like a young adult and even try not to over protect. Not an easy task but one that I do while rubbing the side of my face knowing that there is a little sting still there.
The night before our quick stop had left me wondering if this cruise was really a good idea. I mean, we had never cruised before and part of why we had not cruised was because we had heard so many awful stories on how some cruises turn into vacations from hell. Sorry about that, but how else can I describe how I was feeling about this cruise? I was sitting alone outside on the boats deck while the family was trying to get some needed sleep. The crisp foggy air felt good as my hands were being warmed by a hot cup of tea.
I was sitting there listening to the emergency crew and the Captain discuss rather loudly in German, something and it was not sounding good. The storm had caused damaged to the hull and it must have been that jolt in the night that woke me from my semi sleepy state. My mind shifted back to my own thoughts. Then again, being stuck on a boat, on a river with nowhere else to really go may be a great opportunity to reconnect with my now overly social media stimulated daughter.
There was no access to internet, something else we were told they would have but changed when we got on board. Think about this, a teenager going on a cruise, with her parents and there are no other kids, no Face book, computer access. She was pretending to be happy but she was clearly saving her disappointment for some other time. She was going thru social media withdrawal and that my friend, spells disaster.
The German or some dialect of German was being shouted as I began to continue wondering how I was going to save this Holiday vacation and then it struck me, maybe this was a great opportunity to talk with my daughter, I mean, really sit down and talk. The opportunity to enjoy each other, and with no interruption’s, we would have each others full attention. I took another sip of tea and its warmth was making me smile. That’s it, we can turn this around. The yelling in the distance seemed to stop and I decided to get up and go inside. There I saw the Captain and some official looking men sitting at a table, they too were smiling. Maybe this cruise will turn its self around after all.
A simple hole in the hull of the boat was not going to ruin this Holiday cruise. We were going forward and cruising this river. Even if we do nothing but sit on a boat and talk with one another.
Determined and smiling, I left the main deck to wake up the family.
When I sat down to write I had so many stories to write about and I could not figure out which one would be the best. Being true to myself, I always try to think about what would be most interesting for someone to read. I recognize that many of you who read my blog are not affiliated with the military and fewer have had the benefit of living overseas. As I collected my thoughts, I knew that there would be one topic everyone, including me, was thinking about; the drama surrounding General Petraeus.
I have been reading many different articles about what has happened and have heard more about this story on AFN (Armed Forces Network). I will confess, I wish in some small way that I could have written a book about these events. I would not be sitting here in Military on post housing if I had. With each twist and turn I hold my breath like I am turning the pages of a newly released novel.
Then it got me wondering, how could this happen? Now a days we are addicted to our computers with not much emphasis on the power our computer holds over us because we use them without thinking. That is the problem, we do not think about what we say. How many times do we log in, give an opinion on the article, picture, email or whatever without thinking about who will see it. Those words are forever connected to us and sometimes we even cringe at the content of those posts after we have calmed down. We can delete the content but it never truly goes away.
I can recall the daily discussions I have with my teenage daughter to not write anything on Facebook or in messages that could be perceived in a different matter than what the words were intended. I know that she is tired of hearing this from her over protective mother who sounds more like a drill sergeant at times than a Mom.
It may be just a coincidence but in the last few days I have found quite a few re-posts starting with, “I am sorry about the last post, I was not thinking.”
Thoughts to a Mom Grocery Shopping:
I do not know you very well as a matter of fact, I only know you by the products you buy at the grocery store/commissary. I was the one standing behind you in line waiting for you to finish paying for all the groceries. I loved your new handbag and your well manicured nails that looked like you just had them done. Your kids, well, they were driving me nuts as they ran around screaming while carrying the candy you just bought them. You did not seem to care that they almost ran into a worker trying to move a shopping cart out of their way. Nor did you flinch when one kid started climbing on another cart. You just said, “Let them be.”
I began to wonder what you were feeding them to have them so crazy and that is when my eyes shifted to the food being scanned. I noticed the Chips, then the soda and yes, the candy. I figured, we all need a treats every once in a while. Then it was the sugar cereal and the energy drinks. I started looking to see if there were any fruits and vegetables, maybe something, anything that was not processed or artificial….these products seemed to be missing.
A child’s high pitch scream brought me back to the Mom who seemed to be in another world and I was about to say something to you when I heard you scream, “What do you mean I can not use these, they are for food aren’t they?” You were waving your WIC checks around as if to fan the red-faced cashier. It was your kid crashing to the floor that made us all turn our heads and stare at you.
The cashier quietly tried explaining to you that there were certain products that were WIC approved. Foods that were to help with nutrition and such…you looked surprised, almost embarrassed but pointing…… “I want these foods.” Your voice cracking like a 2-year-old.
It was then that I realized you have no idea how to take care of yourself, let alone the kids that were causing havoc in the store. You continued to argue with the cashier and before long I had to tune you out.
Here’s the Thing….I wanted to help you, bring your kids under control and give you some guidance that you so desperately needed. But, I could not go there. If I had, you would have told me to “Mind my own business.” Better yet, “Who told you I wanted help?” I even began to question if you really needed WIC and questioned if I should help you anyway since you did not seem to understand the purpose of the program.
Your kid screams went ear piercingly higher and were running up and down aisles in the store but under the watchful eye of another person. It was at that point I decided the store has this covered. I saw another cashier wave me over to her register with a bright smile. I walked over to her and cashed out. I was finally on my way.
As I got into my car I began to go over the ordeal that had unfolded in the store.
“What were you thinking?” I started to say out loud.
“That’s right, you weren’t for had you thought about what you were doing you would not have done it.”
“And, nothing I did could have changed your behavior.”
I continued to drive away and turned on the radio.
About a month ago I started noticing that the school supply section in the store was being put together. It was looking great and man, who doesn’t like a new set of pencils, pens and colored crayons to give to their children for the upcoming new school year.
I started to get upset for a moment as I remembered how one year I had followed that school supply list to the letter. I got my daughter the best pens, folders, notebooks and yes, even fancy aloe tissues, four boxes because it was cheaper to buy them in bulk. I was proud I put everything into my daughter’s backpack and sent her off to school. I felt like I had given her the best of the best. This school year was going to be great.
I was so excited to see her when she came home from that first day and when I did see her, I asked, “How was your day?” She told me that all the nice pens, folders and notebooks had been all gathered together and redistributed back out to the students. She shook her head and said, ” That’s okay, I do not mind, but can you go and re-buy me those pretty notebooks, folders and pens you put in my bag this morning as I no longer have them as my own?”
Here’s the Thing…those items were for my daughter to use. Never were they suppose to be gathered together and redistributed to other students. She was to be the one who was to benefit from choices we made when going over the school supply list. When I spoke to the Teacher I was informed that, “No, the supplies are gathered then given out to the students on a need basis.” After a short discussion, I gathered all the supplies that I had bought and returned the other items back the Teacher.
Redistribution at its best. My daughter was smiling once again.
That was the last time I ever really followed the school supply list. This year will be no different.
It has become apparent that there seems to be a lack of self-discipline/respect lately. It seems as if everyone is scrambling to find the latest way to brag, steal, judge and destroy all that is simple, respectful and responsible. Could we blame it on, poor upbringing, bad genes, lack of education or just plain old stupidity? Maybe it is the fault of the school system or …gasp…poor parenting?
I am not sure but I can assure you, that finding someone, anyone who has been properly trained in the essence of etiquette, is far and few between. I am not talking about socialites, I am referring to everyday people who one encounters that do not seem to understand basic courtesies.
I am sure someone out there is saying, “What gives you the right to judge what I do?” Because for better or worse, you represent me too. You are out there spewing your crazy stupid God only knows what and the rest of us suffer. It can be overlooked BUT when you start crying out the, “It was not my fault or that was not me” crap you are in essence saying you’re an idiot. There is no way around that. You do everything you can to blame it on someone else but truly you are the only one to blame.
So…stop it. Plain and simple. Stop doing stupid things and admit that you need to learn how to behave in a public setting. Take your time getting dressed in the morning, brush your teeth, clean your house, clothes, and car regularly. And for Pete’s sake, stop blaming everyone else for your poor decisions. Really no one made you put those clothes on. You did and frankly, someone should have had the decency to tell you not to. They would have said something if they knew that you were not going to blast them in social media.
See, when one learns manners they also learn to tell others what they really should not be wearing thus sparing the rest of us from witnessing a true disaster. It also assists in avoiding the embarrassment that can occur when society really can not handle seeing you in a bad way.
So…maybe it is time to stop and think about what you are wearing, saying and doing when you are out in public. Maybe then there would not be so many social media sites dedicated to your lack of manners. You are not in the position to be upset or mad when they bring it to your attention.
Just do the right thing…THANK THEM and never, EVER do it again.