Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Post From My Soap Box

The long weekend has come to end.  Well, for most of us.  The kids had off yesterday.  It irks me that they call it teacher in service despite the fact that it is MLK day.  Personally, I think the kids should be in school learning about MLK, but they were much happier to be playing hockey and rollerskating with friends.  I spent much of the day playing busy chauffeur. But then I did nothing on Sunday except watch movies and roast a chicken.  I needed the downtime after the wrap of Aladdin.  I finally got to be in the audience Saturday night, and I was impressed how wonderfully it all came together.  I'm still belting out random lines throughout the day and singing in my dreams.  Miss Bit just rolls her eyes...Aladdin was so yesterday!

I have much on my mind after the busy week.  The play experience taught me many things about myself, others and human nature in general.  One of the most obvious is that there are givers and takers.  I very much admire those who are able to give and give without eventually begrudging the takers.  I admit I am not that selfless. Takers have an air of entitlement.  In my book, entitlement is the eighth deadly sin.  It is in fact, a product of greed, sloth, pride and gluttony.  I am over the takers.

In that same vein, acts of kindness should be performed without any expectation of reciprocation, but if they are never or very rarely reciprocated, that isn't right either.  Especially in a friendship where the acts of kindness are anything but random.  No one wants to be a doormat.  I have become the doormat.  I was the doormat.  Time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and spread my kindness elsewhere.

I also learned that I am so not ready for girl drama.  Lily wasn't involved directly, but it impacts everyone.  I have no time for mean girls.  You know the type right?  They think they are better than everyone else, they need constant validation and attention, they are always excluding someone else to evoke that feeling of fear that it could be you next, they have moms who behave the exact same way.  Behind their sweet smiles, are snarky smirks and sly snipes.  They are subversive bullies who will ice you out when and if they feel like it. Some of the behavior over the weekend set the stage for good mother daughter conversation about friendship, self worth and not just doing what is right, but sticking up for it too.

And it's not just girls.  T. Bone had an incident over the weekend that was along the same lines. A pick up basketball game left his teammate in tears.  T. Bone defended him and then caught the brunt of anger from a boy I am glad he rarely hangs out with.  Anger I overheard when T. Bone called home in tears asking for a ride. The language would make a drunken sailor sound poetic.  He's a charmer who will have a mug shot one day.  I overheard another boy who is, or perhaps was, a good friend of T. Bone's egging the situation on, laughing, being every bit of the bully that the raging, swearing boy was.   A third friend -the closest of the bunch -said nothing. He's afraid of being iced out of a group he's already on the fringe of.  I get it because he's been shunned before, but I don't like it.  And who stood up for him when he was on the outs?  Yep, Ted. Coach and I used the opportunity to talk to Ted about making good choices on the court and in life...about not letting small minded, too cool for school people get to him.  We talked to him about choosing friends who treat him well, and who don't judge, bully or bring him down.  It was a good lesson.  Yesterday, he spent time with just those kind of friends and had a great day.

I keep reminding anyone who will listen : we rise by lifting others, and we become like the 5 people we spend the most time with.  Choose wisely, and reach for the sky.