Which carrot are you?

11 Apr

Which carrot are you?

Last summer we planted some carrots in our garden. We spaced them out evenly and made sure they each had the same amount of soil and water. We cared for them by watering and pulling up any weeds that may have popped up to steal the nutrients away from our crop. It was a long couple of months being patient and waiting for the right time to pull up our harvest.

We got impatient a time or two and pulled one or two up here and there, but they were never the size we wanted or expected. So we waited more…

Until yesterday when it seemed fit to finally pull up our remaining crop for a dinner I was preparing. To my amazement, they were all different in size! None was like the other. You’d pull up one and it would be a really nice straight one and then you’d pull up the one right next to it and it would only be a couple of inches long.

The tops of the carrots all matched in height, their greenery was long and luscious, a deceiving outward appearance and not at all a real testament to what lies beneath.
It was a suspenseful moment in time pulling up all the carrots. A rewarding time, a “pulling of straws” if you will.
As I washed and sized up the harvest I laid them side by side. The biggest carrot next to the smallest. I wondered how two carrots could be completely opposite, yet had grown in the same elements; given the same amount of water, sun and attention. Two carrots who looked identical on the outside, were so different on the inside.

I began to get deep. I do that sometimes.

I thought about the adversities that one carrot can come into contact with. Carrots need a deep space to grow big and long, a hard accomplishment for a carrot when grown in soil above a land mass made of hard lava rock. Clearly they all had faced the harsh reality of the solid lava rocks below. A small carrot root is no match against it. So why, again I pondered, was one so much bigger and stronger than its counter?

I can’t speak for the carrots, but I can take a guess. Ready?

The longest and biggest carrot we pulled up was pulled up from between the lava rock cracks. It had found a way, underneath the soil and lava rock, to grow to its full potential.

Life is like this. People are like this.

On the outside you may all look the same, but on the inside, deep down beneath the surface is where your strength lies. We are all faced with challenges, lava rocks per say. Some of us choose to quit growing because we think that there is no more room. We see the obstacle and find it immovable, so we stay. We slow down our growth and stay where we think is our limit. We feel safe there because, hey, this just might be the end of the road. So we give up growing without even trying.

While some of us don’t give up. We see our lava rock and we laugh at it. We search for a hole, for a sliver, for a crack of light… because sometimes that’s all we need to grow to our next level, and we aim our roots and we push through it. We push through our battles, we push through our hard places, we push because we know if we can just find one open space, we can flourish.

So, I ask again…
Which carrot are you?

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‘Tis the season for ‘no good deed goes unpunished’

2 Dec

Disclaimer:

This post contains the word FUCK. If you do give a fuck about that, then don’t read it. But, if you don’t give a fuck, then you should proceed.. or don’t, I don’t give a fuck really. Happy Holidays 🙂


 

When I was younger I recall my father telling me that “No good deed goes unpunished”. Being young, I really didn’t know exactly what that meant. But, as the years have passed since then, I have come to realize the harsh reality of which and it has led me to understand: CARING TOO MUCH CAN FUCK YOU OVER! annnnnnnd it does…

but,

I have always been one to care {doh!}. I have a simple, yet giving heart which controls my need to always put my neck out… and more often than not, my neck gets blown off. {I envision the alien guy, Jeebs, from the movie Men In Black, when he gets his head shot off, he just grows another – yeah, that’s me}

You’d think after having my good deeds backfire time and time again that I would take a note from  Rhett Butler and just say “FRANKLY, MY DEAR, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN”.

frankly my dear

But I can’t.

Thus lies the crossroads to giving a shit and the need to stop giving a shit. It’s a shitty sticky situation {say that 10x fast}.

The holiday season is full of passion, giving, cheerfulness and… assholes. Is it just me, or do the majority of assholes {not all of them} just stay indoors all year long and the second the holidays come around, they decide to shit on all of the rest of us normal people who give a fuck? They are everywhere. {And possibly reading this right now. Well, can I just say that I am OVER YOU! Go back home and shit in your own yard. Yeah, you!}

I can’t even tell you how many times I have had done something nice and have had it backfire on me. I’m a genuinely caring person, so I’m not sure what karma is doing to me, but I am fucking paying! I can only think that maybe in a past life I really didn’t give a fuck, let alone give two fucks, and now I am reaping all that built up bad karma from the old me. Like the “past life me” pushed grandma’s down stairs, told mom’s their babies were ugly, and stole money from the Salvation Army bucket. Not a single fuck was given from the “past life me”. Well SCREW YOU OLD PAST LIFE ME!

I digress…

So, today, while driving to Longs Drugs {yes, its’ still called ‘Longs’ here in Hawaii. They {{meaning whomever showed up at the meeting that day}} thought it best not to confuse the people of Hawaii. We would notice that the name changed to CVS, and clearly not know what the CVS stands for and probably not shop there anymore. I don’t know what our obsession is of ‘Longs’, but it’s deep and should not be fucked with. #LONGLIVELONGS. FOREVER}….anywho…

Oh brah, right… So I was driving through the Longs parking lot when I saw a man backing out of his spot in the next row. I wasn’t planning on parking there but I couldn’t help but see how sharply he was backing out, and before I knew it, this guy backed into the car parked beside him. This guy clearly didn’t give a fuck and started to drive off! I, giving a fuck, noticed this guy trying to drive off.  I quickly pulled into a stall and ran out to yell at him. I was throwing up my hands and yelling. I simple knew this asshole wasn’t going to stop, so I used my Jedi skills and memorized his license plate as he drove away. I waited for a bit thinking he would come back… the asshole didn’t! So I started to write a note to the person he hit when she came out of the store. I approached her and told her the story and gave her the man’s license plate number. She was clearly thankful and appreciative of me. She continued to embellish that there should be more people in the world like me. You’re welcome. {duh, I’ve been trying to tell you that for how long now?}. I felt ten-feet tall. I went into the store and did my shopping with a smile on my face. I think I was even humming a Christmas Carol – okay so it was Miranda Lamberts’ “Gravity is a bitch”, but dammnit I was humming! I even let someone go ahead of me in line. I was happy. I was cheerful. I loaded my gifts and jumped in my truck, Big Blue….

Now, I can’t tell you for sure, but once I saw it, I think the words  “WHAT THAAA FUCK” echoed loudly from my mouth. Loudly. There it was. A ticket on my windshield. Apparently when I pulled quickly into the stall to chase down Christmas Asshole, I had parked in the middle of two stalls. Annnnnnnd apparently this is frowned upon in the Longs’ parking lot. Now…, let me tell you that there was NO ONE, repeat it, NO FUCKING ONE parked in that row. There wasn’t even a half-full parking lot. It was as crowded as the “Gun Buy-Back” in California. There was hardly anyone there. Annnnd the people who were there were either scoring on returning something that was broken, or they didn’t know why they were there to begin with {hey guys, there’s a line, let’s stand in it} annnnnd I was the asshole that took up two spots… oh no! Fuck you! I was the “good Samaritan” trying to help a neighbor out and accidentally parked in two spots. Thanks. You just made my day!

I, however, with a Grinchly grin, shoved the ticket in the compartment of my middle conceal, flipped off the security guard and drove away. Ya know, because how else should we react to being screwed over… again. It was either that, or mail the ticket to the nice lady I had just helped. Assholes!

If it wasn’t this event that happened today it was the one that happened last week at work {If you don’t have enough money to tip, you don’t have enough money to eat at a restaurant, especially my restaurant where I give my all and not for minimum wage you jerk}… Or it would be the one that will positively happen next month.  It’s a vicious cycle of good and punishment.

Just keep swimming… just keep swimming.

Thus, ‘Tis the season for ‘No good deed goes un-punished’ is giving me a new outlook on life. I shall start my research on “How to not give a fuck” and let you know how it turns out.

giving a fuck

 

 

 

Lesson in Parenting: Aggressive Researcher

12 Nov

My lungs had felt empty and my eyes flooded with water as I walked out of my son’s school towards my car. I had made this walk many times before looking this way. I have seen the looks on their faces when they see my emotional response. Some look with sympathy and others judge – pretending to know what I am going through. Knowing that my child’s behavior is a direct response to my parenting style, I take this very personally.

I love my sweet spirited, “aggressive researcher” of a son. I never want him to feel as though people gave up on him because of a few learning curves. But, we are all human. I, as his mother, had a very hard time dealing with his behavior problems. This made me even more confused because coming from a girl who struggled with the same issues growing up, you’d think I would have this all figured out. I didn’t. And I still don’t.

Our learning curve started when my son started Kindergarten. It was a big change for us all since I was mainly a stay at home mom with him and he never attended a real Pre-School. We did a lot of academic stuff at home and we were apart of a local home program for Pre-schoolers, HIPPY. We were on schedule to be academically ready for Kindergarten and we were! Except socially. Yeah, that. We weren’t ready for that apparently. My son was doing great with his work at school, but that soon became a burnt pot on the back burner to his behavior and his immaturity. He started off by getting in a fight with the biggest local boy in his class. My son had kicked the other boy in the nose and made him cry and bleed. When asked why he had gotten in a fight, my son replied, “He was calling me names”.

Thus began our records of red cards, yellow slips, fights, suspensions, being kicked out of different programs, more fights, hollow lungs and tears.

At the end of his first blind learning curve year of Kindergarten, we decided to switch to a public charter school who practices Waldorf style of teaching. Knowing he was academically ready for 1st grade, we chose to re-enroll him into Kindergarten hoping to give him a “re-do”. He started his year off in another new environment, another new experience. And boy, was it a difference! The school is amazing. The teachers are amazing! The difference in the schools is night and day. I had very high hopes that this different style of school would help my son’s behavior.

The first time I was approached by my son’s new teacher about his behavior is a day I won’t forget. She told me that he was having a really hard time with his fellow classmates and that some of them were even scared of him. She explained that he needs more “physical touch” at home and explained a few techniques we could try, like wrapping him up in a blanket like a burrito (similar to swaddling up a new-born baby) and a few other things. I was taken back by the fact that he needed “more” physical touch. My son, for those that do not know him, is the most sweetest boy. He loves snuggles, hugs, kisses, high fives… fist bumps! He thrives on physical touch. He receives his love that way ( The 5 love languages). We are constantly meeting his desire for love from us (isn’t that what parent’s do anyway?). We continued to try different things at home, but nothing seemed to change. He’d become this different boy when he was at school.

My lungs had felt empty and my eyes flooded with water as I walked out of my son’s school towards my car. I had made this walk many times before looking this way.

With each piece of bad news I would receive I would hang my head. I would cry and ask myself “What am I doing wrong?”. Towards the end of my son’s second hard year of Kindergarten, I blamed myself and believed that others thought I was a horrible parent.

One thing I do remember when I was growing up is that people will call you things your whole life. They can call you a failure, a bad person… naughty. And, at first you don’t believe them because you know that you are not those things… but after a while, after all the times being told we are bad, we ultimately begin to believe them. Our spirit gets defeated. We morph into something our peers believe us to be. My son had started to develop this feeling like I had years and years before him. His social behavior was starting to define who he was and make his peers remember him that way.

I got a cruel dose of reality when I picked him up from school one day towards the middle of a challenging 1st grade year. He got into the car and started crying. I had been here many times before when my son has received a yellow slip and realizes that he will be in trouble so he automatically starts to cry when I pick him up, I imagine the anticipation of being in trouble is what causes this. It was a routine I was getting too familiar with. I held my hand out wanting the yellow slip he was about to give me when all I got were more tears.

“Did you get another yellow slip today?” I said in an annoyed upset voice. “Is that why you are crying? You know, I’m really having a hard time with this behavior.”

My son just cried.

“What’s going on? What’s the matter? Why are you crying?”

When he did not answer I knew that something else was the cause of his tears. He began to tell me that he was feeling left out at school. He told me that when he arrived at school that day that all the kids had a birthday invitation in their cubby. Everyone, except him. The other kids that had gotten invited were teasing him for not getting one and made him embarrassed and ashamed. I am guessing he was not invited to the classmates party due to the fact that he had a reputation, I assume ( <—- actions that reek of High School drama. Grow up!).

After I took a minute to think about my response, I realized that I must first apologize for being forthcoming with my anger with him, thinking he had gotten a yellow slip when in fact he was crying because he was truly hurt and sad. I had automatically assumed he was in trouble. It had become the norm and I didn’t think anything else of it. I had, in a way, given up on my son in that very moment by reacting the way I did and by assuming he was bad. “Ahh haaa! A clue” (said in my best The Count voice). Parenting lesson learned…

Now, I don’t know how us mom’s do it, but we somehow transform into this mode that dad’s just don’t understand. I went into Momma Bear mode and I got instantly very hurt and protective for my son.

I was hurt, because he was hurt.

I was offended.

I was sad.

I was MAD!

I began to explain to my son some of the possibilities why he did not receive an invitation. With every explanation I thought of, the madder I became. It broke my heart to see his tender heart suffering. He truly did not understand the reasoning why. I explained that every action we make causes a re-action from our peers. I had to get real with him and it hurt me to see him so sad and left out. “What you did was bad, YOU are NOT bad.”

Let’s be honest, I wanted to straight up strangle the parent who thought it was okay to leave ONE kid out. To single him out and basically say “No, you are NOT invited”. I got very upset. I approached the issue (reputation aside) in the terms of these are all just kids, and why would you leave even one out like that. It’s hurtful. It’s mean. It’s so… childish! It took every ounce in me to not go APE SHIT and cuss out that parent.  No joke. I was feeling some Mc Andrews’ temper coming on and I had to take hold of it and set a good example for my son who was having a hard time. Even though cussing her out would have definitely made me feel better, it wouldn’t change the fact that my son’s peer’s not only thought of him as a threat, but their parents did as well.

Well THAT explains the awkward sighs and looks…

As my son’s 1st grade year was starting to come to a close, we had to deal with another fight incident. I was mentally weak going into the summer. I didn’t know what else to do. My husband and I had tried everything we thought would work and we were very consistent with our actions. I had read a lot of books about “strong-willed children” and tried to receive advice from those who would give it. I was lost. I was completely frustrated and It just wasn’t working. I cried out in desperation for help. I didn’t want my son to have to overcome the issues I had to. I wanted it to be easy for him. I wanted him to thrive!

Today (6 months later) I drove up to my son’s school, I took a deep breath and went into my son’s classroom. Being here before made me uncomfortable and eerie. There’s reason for me to be on-edge at Parent-Teacher conferences. After four years of attending them, they never start or end with good news… or so I thought.

My lungs had felt empty and my eyes flooded with water as I walked out of my son’s school towards my car. I had made this walk many times before looking this way.

But this time… my lungs felt empty because my breath had been taken away, and my eyes cried tears of happiness.

When I had asked my son’s teacher what else we should work on this year with him, she replied “Any goals that I had set for him in the beginning of the year he has surpassed already this year. He is truly refreshing this year.” As she said that I sat there in the seat with overwhelming emotions.

My son had been praised at school, for the first time. He had been praised at school! He got nothing but great re-marks. He has come such a long way since the beginning and he really IS finally starting to get it. We’ve worked so hard together to understand and adjust to new things, to control our anger and give people space. It’s safe to say that my sanity is slowing regenerating and my voice isn’t so strained – for now.

A pat on my own back for not giving up. For leaning in with the learning curves instead of fighting them. For continuing to look for options to help him. Talking to him and keeping our communication open. Letting him feel free to express himself in different ways. Trying to stay positive even in times where I just wanted to give up. I know we have a lot more growing to do together, and we are not perfect. I will be tested again, and he will push even harder, but, now I know to hold my head high.

Love your children and fight for them no matter how they may behave now. Encourage them to be who they are, outgoing, “aggressive researchers”, and to question everything while showing respect… thus I know there will be more times like these, that I can guarantee. He is, obviously, my child. Lord help us all! hehehe


Lesson’s in Parenting

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