Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tragedy. Where are the answers?...

I know I want to run and hide. I know I want to move to an ideal commune on a paradise island and shelter my child from all scary evil things. I also know that evil finds a way. 

I know that kids are kids. I know kids make mistakes. I know many kids "these days", do not know the real thing of 'death'. To them it's South Park Kenny being killed off each episode and returning the next. It's a video game of blasting heads and an easy reset button to start again. It's a common expression with no thought or meaning "I'm dieing",  "I'll kill you"  and "I'm gonna kill myself."

(Preschool has been in session a month and he's already repeating the first two. PRESCHOOL. 4 year olds!!)

I know kids are carrying a heavy burden. Too much. The pressure from all angles. From school academics- social pressures- activity performance alone. It's too much. Add in the never ending nagging of a mother like me and--- well. I want to do better by my son. He needs room to thrive. Margin to grow. Not a heavy burden to carry.

You see, this weekend, here in my hometown a 9yo boy was sent to his room for something, seemingly mundane. Something many kids are sent to their room for every day. But this time, was different, somehow. To him. He hung himself. There, in his room.

Evidence shows, he clearly had no idea what he was doing when he tied the knots as the struggle marks on his body were so severe, the family couldn't imagine an open coffin. Cremation the only way.

Who knows? Seemingly this was a spur of the moment choice. No obvious violence or outstanding dysfunction in the home. But we all have secrets. We all have regrets. We all carry burdens.

I can't sit here and point fingers as to the 'why' this happened. It isn't "south park kenny's" fault. It isn't the games. It isn't the internet to blame. We are always looking for blame. Something to pin it one. Anger wants a target. It is my instinct, for sure. Fueling the fire to flame the parent/movies/games/internet, in this one case, will do nothing to help all 9 year old boys.

The culmination of this and a number of other things got me to realize something: My kid believes what I tell him. He believes HOW I tell him. He listens to what I say and watches what I do.

I 'knew' that all along. Relatively sure we all do. But now- in the context of a child hanging himself- regardless of the how and why- places urgency on EVERY MOMENT and EVERY DAY that I am with him. He will always be somewhere else in this world more time, than he is with me. That makes my time with him URGENT. Urgent that I'm saying what matters. Urgent that I'm teaching, inspiring, feeding his soul.

Please God, give me all the heavy lifting and your strength to carry it.

I believe in the power of God. I know many of you have varying degrees of God or "religion" buy-in. (Which is why I love you all by the way- you push me and challenge me to keep thinking!). So I cling to Him. This child was placed in my hands gently and I must hold him, also gently. Not tight. Not so much that he cannot breathe his own Life into this world- but gently. Cling tightly to God and be at peace with that. Cause seriously?!?! What else is there? I can be angry, scared and foolish. But it will do no good for us, or the rest of this world if I feed the fears and disappear to a commune of FBI clearanced families on a paradise island.

Sitting thinking, praying and writing around the death of a precious child. That's what I'm doing- circling it. It is not my tragedy. I am not a victim. So writing about the "I" in this sounds strange, but, if I close my eyes and chose not to see, learn, and grow by all that surrounds me- how am I human? Please forgive the "I". I am human.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesdays Word- Seeking

Sensory that is....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Knocking Doors...

I remember the day like yesterday (18 years ago!!), when I sat in the office being offered a job, that I felt sick to my stomach and that I really did not want to accept it, but.... I felt I didn't really have a choice. It was a big chance. Some people had pulled strings, held out just for me-- who was I to say no?

I had that same feeling almost 20 years later. Although I can give myself less leeway in not listening to my instinct. It has served me well over the years and, most times, I can discern a more clearly than I could all those freewheeling years ago. And yet... I did it again. I sat there, knowing, this isn't a right fit for anyone.

Cue the whispering of judgment as it begins to echo in my head... "You've been out of work for 18 months"... "It's time to start working".... "Hey- they held out, waiting for you, hoping you'd consider it"... "They were counting on you"... 

Who was I to say, "No"?

Always a mistake to undervalue yourself.

Will I ever truly learn that?

Returning to the work force and, subsequently leaving it again, hit me in ways I was not expecting. Odd, like a kick to the head from a horse. Left me dazed. Confused. Smarting. And more than a little pissed off. Pissed at lots of things.

Eventually- I got over myself. sorta.... at least things slowly came back into focus and I realized, my perspective had just been broadened. Don't you love it when that happens??!

Dust has been shaken off. I've explored all worst case scenarios and having them exposed reduces the fear and anxiety, somehow. Once that was done- I could focus on the "What now?"

You are going to laugh. You're going to think- duh. What was she thinking? What was she doing all this time? Here's the truth. I never made a 're-entry plan'.

Honestly. I did not. I never looked at my life - now- in the "oh so very different life than the last time you were leading projects, teams, volunteers and databases" sort of way. I just assumed- "Oh, I may have to scale back on actual hours spent- you know 40 vs. 60-80 but other than that all is the same".

I never took into account- "I've changed." I'm not the same person. And although I had a moment of "oops." in not trusting my instincts/ devaluing myself, what I expect of my self is not scaled back. It isn't "less time".  It's- more.

More passionate people surrounding me.

More dedication to meaningful, feed the soul of my family time.

More fulfillment.

So- I've a plan of attack. Mostly involving lots of prayer and saying thanks, but also some logical steps to make sure than in one year or 6-8 months we are not in this same position.

First- Pass Teacher certification exams. I've been putting this off for- oooo 15 years now. Having never really worked in education, even though that's what my degree says. I don't know how I'll like teaching, but that isn't the point right. Passionate people. Meaningful family time. Perhaps it will open doors I can't even consider now. Who knows- but it's been knocking on my door rather loudly for the past 12 months and I've been ignoring the call. Wish me luck!

Second- File LLC paperwork/ or just start free lance grant writing business from home.

Third- File paperwork for NP. Lofty Goals. More later. 

So yes. I want to surround myself with passionate people. I need to be dedicated to the work (outside the home). And my number one priority is my family. So if my work environment isn't conducive to my being passionate and dedicated to my family as well, than it doesn't work.

What about you? Are you listening to the nasty whispers or answering the knocking door? What is your primary priority and how does it fit into your life right now? Are there things nagging at you, knocking louder all the time? Am I talking to myself again? Cause I do that too sometimes...

PS: Not to worry- I'm still searching for director esque level positions (pssst- nationally!!) but the causes- I'll be careful as to where I'm spending my hard earned valuable time.