Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Today's World

I read an article yesterday on a mother who took a photo of her child, thinking it was silly. Her cute little girl standing on the toilet seat. What she learned, however, was that her child was doing what they'd learned in school for a drill if there was ever a shooter.

It breaks my heart that kids today have to think about that.

I remember all too well, two years ago, a similar moment with my then five-year-old daughter. We'd had a bat in the house while she was sleeping, and because she had a scratch on her belly that we didn't know if she'd gotten earlier in the day or possibly from the bat, she had to go through rabies shots (that's a story for another day - yowsa! My poor baby girl!) Six shots total over the course of a few weeks. :(

During one of these follow-up sessions, which have to be done at the hospital, she was sitting in the room on the hospital bed with her stuffed animal as we waited the necessary time after the shot to make sure there was no reaction. I'd worked in a hospital for seven years, so when the overhead speaker came on announcing a code on another floor, it didn't even phase me. (Here she is, right before the overhead announcement came on.)

It did, however, phase my baby girl.

I watched as her eyes grew wide and sheer panic set in. I mean, utter and total panic. I have never before (and thankfully, never since) seen that look on her face. She bolted off the bed and behind the nearest, biggest thing she could find, which was a piece of medical equipment in the room. She was screaming at me to hide, and I had no idea what she was talking about. I tried to calm her down and get her to come out, but she just kept begging me to hide. I finally went to where she was and asked why we were hiding. She replied that they had just said a code and that meant there was a shooter there.

I think my heart broke.

It was only a couple years before that when my son, then in kindergarten, heard about the Sandy Hook shootings from some kiddos on the playground at school. He came home and told me not to worry about him, that he'd figured out he could break a window with a chair, jump out, and he knew how to get home from the school if he had to run.

What?

I never had to think about that stuff when I was younger. I never had to formulate a plan in my head to escape anything except maybe a test I hadn't studied for. What happened in that short time between when I was in school and when my babies are that they all of a sudden have to start preparing for things of this nature?

So Stacey, I am so sorry your little girl has to learn how to stand on a toilet. I'll be thinking about you, and hoping for a future for our kiddos that doesn't involve escape plans and codes.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Three Tacos and Guacamole

After a tough 4-1 loss at little league baseball tonight, we were all pretty hungry. We'd rushed right from work and the sitter to the game, and 8 p.m. loomed on the horizon. We pulled up to one of our favorite taco places and got in line to place our order. The line was seriously long, and we would normally have jetted off to some other quick place, but for some reason we stayed.

Not more than a minute later, an older gentleman was at my husband's car window. He said he was down on his luck and I looked at the kiddos in the back. They were watching intently everything that was said and I knew that what my husband said and did was going to resonate with them and impact how they handled these situations moving forward.

When the gentlemen, who was quite dirty and had calloused hands, finished up his introduction, he ended it with "I'm just really hungry and I don't know what else to do at this point but to just ask someone for help."

Without skipping a beat, the hubs asked him what he'd like to eat and offered to buy him some dinner. The gentlemen went back to his truck and waited while we ordered and got the food. I packaged up his meal in the extra bag they gave us and walked it over to his truck. He said thank you and immediately opened it up to begin eating. I wished him well and said I hoped things got better for him soon.

We headed home in relative silence, which is how we also ate our dinner. My son, always inquisitive, asked me why the man had asked for food.

"Sometimes," I explained, "we all get a little down on our luck. Daddy is a good man and he knew that the man needed something to eat, so he wanted to help him out."

"So it was the right thing to do?" he asked.

"Yeah baby," I replied. "That could be anyone. What if that was us? Sometimes things happen in life and times get tough. It's important to be there for people when they need it, and you hope that others will be there for you too if you ever need help."

"So do you think his tacos and guac made a difference to him tonight?"

Well, I don't know if it did for the man, but I know it did for us. In a week where there is so much horror on the news, where there is blame and shame galore, I hope we can all take a moment to remember that life can change in an instant and we need more kindness in the world. And kindness starts with each of us, one small moment at a time. Together, all those small things will make big changes. To anyone who is down on their luck, hang in there. We're rooting for you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New topics needed!

I need some new topics to write about! I'm suffering from a terrible case of writers block. Any suggestions?

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