Adults and children have very different ideas of what an actual tragedy is. A tragedy to an adult is the death of a loved one, a bad accident in your car, illness, the social things that we are seeing today such as the shootings, illness or pain in our children. To us, these are tragedies. These are serious things!!! At least to adults. It is often difficult to take our minds to the level of what our children experience as tragic.
Of course, along the lines of the above descriptions of tragedies, for a child, the death of a beloved pet is tragic. Mini-Me's family lost a dog recently. Max was very sad and said a prayer for the departed when they buried him. It was the first thing she told me about when she saw me before she left on vacation. And then . . . just like that she moved on. Her sadness was quickly replaced with all the things in life that a child loves.
Another tragedy that I have witnessed is the breaking of a toy. That is probably taken as hard as the loss of a pet. I have seen full scale sobbing because the head got snapped off a Barbie doll, or a bicycle got run over by the Blonde. The demands to "fix it" are endless. Specifically, when the Blonde ran over the tricycle dragging it in ignorant bliss down the driveway while we chased her, there were endless questions about why that happened. The answer seems obvious to an adult. "Your aunt was not watching what she was doing and was not aware of the surroundings, and it got stuck under the car." And "I don't know why she kept driving and I can't believe she couldn't hear the horrible crunch of a tricycle being mangled." And every adult right now is thinking, "Thank God there wasn't a child on the tricycle!" Stitch just wants to know why his bike is broken.
Then of course there is the tragedy of asking a child to eat their dinner. That one recently threw the entire kitchen into a vacuum containing the sound of a loud and high pitched wail! There were numerous tears flowing down the face and more screaming as the kitchen was evacuated by the child making our ears hurt until he could calm himself. How dare we ask him to eat food!!!!
My recent favorite was when Max came out of her bedroom dressed and ready for school. Please understand that my grandchildren seem to have their seasons totally screwed up. Stitch is convinced that when the sun is shining it is warm. All summer he wants to wear sweatpants and all winter he wants to wear shorts. Max is not much different. Thank God we have a little time until the baby is able to argue about his attire. Anyway, Mini-Me took a look at Max and simply said, "Not that shirt today." Max fell into a puddled heap on the floor and began sobbing and screaming, "No, no, no." You would have thought we just informed her that Barbie's Dreamhouse had been torpedoed by GI Joe.
I guess it is all a matter of perspective. Before you get too angry with your child over tragic tantrums, remember two things. First, anger is an unproductive and very destructive emotion. No good comes from it. Believe me, I know. You are listening to a woman who has had some very angry moments in the raising of seven children. Second, our children are small and they view life from a very simplistic vantage point. A large adult yelling at a child is frightening. And to them life is broken down into the simplest of terms. They cannot see things with our life experiences because they haven't been there yet. But we can change our perspective.
Maybe the lesson is for us as adults to learn. Maybe we ought to go back to a simpler, cleaner more honest view of the world around us and life. Something to think about as you scurry through your day and let hundreds of little things annoy you, give you grey hair and raise your blood pressure. Enjoy the simple things that God has blessed us with. Have a beautiful and blessed week.
So I mentioned last week, that Doc and I celebrated our 35th anniversary. A milestone for most marriages these days. We have certainly been through thick and thin but in the process have kept our faith and family strong and at the center of our lives. This past weekend was a real testimony to just how wonderful our family is and how awesome the kids are. (Sorry for bragging, but you will understand in just a second.)
So, a few months ago, not long after our New Year's Eve family wedding event, the gang got together and decided that Doc and I had not had a vacation without them in a very, very, very, very long time. These wonderful children along with their tremendous spouses and significant others got together and planned a vacation for us.
Now, I am not talking about a little trip to Cleveland for a long weekend and a football game (or comedy as it would be) or symphony performance and dinner out, or anything like that. This bunch showed their love by shipping us off to Jamaica for five days. Just as Ohio was beginning to get colder, we were sitting on a beach in Montego Bay, sipping rum punches and having delightfully relaxed dinners.
Believe me, their effort was huge because I am not a good traveler. I am a real homebody who was prepared to fight this thing tooth and nail. I am that person who worries about flying and disasters. Weird, because I would never let my kids do that! I would and have gently reminded them that God is with them in their travels as he is at home. Well, I caved and I will now admit that it was a great idea and extremely appreciated!!!! I had forgotten what it was like not to have constant demands being placed on me by family and work. I had forgotten (almost, because the phone is lost so often) what it is like to turn off the computer, the phone, all of it.
I cannot thank our beautiful family enough for taking charge and sending us off for some much needed R&R. So again, forgive me for bragging but our gang is the greatest!!!! And I guess it is fair to say, when your kids are little and you are having a really rough time, remember that there is hope and if you take the time to raise them with your love, the love comes back to you in ways your cannot even believe. The love comes back to us from this gang every day, and obviously sometimes in very special ways.
Enjoy the rest of your week. Remember to take time to smell the roses and slow down and count all those blessings that God sends your way. And as the Jamaicans say, "No worries!"
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!