Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Lost Art of Kindness

I don't think I remembered to make any real New Year's Resolutions this year, which is fine.  It ends up being a list of things I never got around to anyway.  And in the same way that  romance can happen on days that aren't Valentine's Day, I think that change can happen on days that aren't New Year's.  Which brings me to my actual point.  

On Christmas Day, while attempting to nap between the many Christmases we had scheduled that day, the TV was already on in the bedroom and I left it on for no reason at all. Even after realizing that I was trying to snooze to the tune of a Joel Osteen sermon, I left it on.  I was being that lazy.  Incidently, after relaying what I'm about to tell you to my grandmother, her response to me was, "Oh, that Joel Osteen...he's not a good man."  Way to miss the point, Grandma.  But I digress.  And in case you feel the same as she does, this is about the message, not the messenger.  

Joel was talking that morning about something that turned out to be interesting enough to keep me from being able to fall asleep, but something that is also not a new concept in any way.  It's just completely ignored.  I noticed it being ignored in a huge way this morning, which is what reminded me of this, and is why I am thinking about it and writing about it now.  MAN, I am rambling today.  On with it.  

When a stranger is rude to you, when someone flies off the handle for what seems like no good reason...when a person is throwing negative energy like daggers in every direction, most people's first reaction is to give them the same thing right back.  It's the easiest thing to do.  Then you end up with two pissed off people, who are probably going to walk away from that situation and spread the attitude around.   Ok, so basically, this is "How To Be a Jerk and Take the Rest of the World Down With You 101." (Obvisoulsy, I am paraphrasing - figured it would seem more natural than UH POWUHFUL SUTHUN ACCEYENT, MY BRUTHA).  But the thing is, no one seems to take a moment to think and realize that they really don't know that person's story.  You have no idea what is going on in that person's life, how they got there, what put them in this horrible why take part in antagonizing that person with your own horrible attitude and bad reactions?  What if the girl ringing up your groceries is being a sourpuss because she found out her mom has cancer but her boss wouldn't give her the day off?  She'd probably feel better if you ignored her bad mood and smiled through your two minute transaction than if you reciprocated her unfriendliness.  What if the overweight guy who is putting away an entire cheesecake at the next table is celebrating because he's lost 100 lbs so far?  Do you think he needs your judgement and ridiculing?  Or does he deserve a congratulations and a high five?  

I guess it boils down to "You can't know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes."  And yet, we act like we know everything and everyone.  We know that person shouldn't be doing what they're doing, we know they don't deserve what they have, we know a person in their occupation has to be happy at all times.  We know that person isn't having a bad day, she's just a bitch.  And she has no right to be a bitch because we know there's nothing going on in her life that would make her that way.  Don't we just know it all?  

Except we don't.  At all.  Apparently, we don't even know how to treat people anymore.  We fight fire with fire on a daily basis and don't wonder why it doesn't get us anywhere.  We yell at other drivers and give dirty looks to struggling teenage mothers and laugh at fat people.  I'm as guilty of all of it as anyone else, and I really find it disgusting.  

So my new "resolution", for lack of a better word, is to try to be nice.  Try to be above all the anger and rudeness.  Try to be sympathetic.  Try to make things better.  And more importantly, to teach my son the same things.  

And to maybe spread the message to you as well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Harrison Takes a Stand

Harrison can now ride a surfboard!  I know, I know, we've been waiting for this day too!  Also though, he can stand in the living room, on the bed, at daycare and outside.  I'm sure there are other places, but these are the ones I've witnessed.  My little punkin' is sticking right to the schedule I gave him on Day 1, and is on track to walk at one year.  No sooner than that, though.  Because that would be off mommy's schedule and Harrison loves his mommy.  

I am truly greatful that I have not been chasing around a "toddler" the past few weeks or months and that I have been able to hold on to the baby stage this long.  Now that he's making some strides (ha. pun intended.) towards being even more of a little human, I have to admit that I'm a little excited.  Harrison does, after all, have a precious pair of legs and an adorable tush, and once those things are on display all over the place, his cute meter is going to burst.  Along with my heart.  Just when I think I can't take much more cute, he goes and does something new and I find out what I'm made of.  

I can't even imagine what this is going to add to his dance skillz.  He displayed some pretty sweet moves this morning to Billy Joel's "Piano Man".  Gah...he even has good taste in music.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Silent Treatment Over.

Several months ago, I got my feelings hurt and just shut up.  I had written a short story a long time ago, and submitted to a writing contest.  When they published the winners, which I had zero expectations of being a part of, I read the top three winning stories and was a little surprised to find that they really weren't all that good.  Not bad...just not very good.  So I decided to print them out, along with a copy of mine, and I let a couple of people read them and tell me what they thought.  I didn't mention that I had written one of them.  One lady brought the stories back to me, and asked what they were.  I told her they were part of a short story contest and I had just wanted her thoughts.  She said, "Well I hope you didn't write any of these, because they were all pretty bad."  

Yes, really. 

In the meantime, and pardon my French, I have come to learn that this woman is a real nagative bitch and a complainer.  Since then, I haven't heard anything positive come out of her mouth at all unless it's in regards to herself....she's one of I've decided, finally, to get over it.  Pouting session over.  

This does not change the fact that life is ridiculously busy and sometimes exhausting, so the updates may still be few and far between. 

I'm not sure I can take the time to fill in the blanks, but let's just say Harrison is bigger now.  And has more teeth.  He also has grown quite a bit of silky, curly blond hair, is getting ready to walk, and is the most beautiful little boy of all time.  The past few months have been filled with firsts...first Halloween, first Thanksgiving, first Christmas...all the fun days.  First pair of shoes, first bump on the head...he plays games with us, he dances better than most people I know, he gives the best hugs, kisses with his mouth open, has taken to cuddling with his stuffed animals, and knows how to use a phone. And how to use random objects as a phone.  He has some favorite TV shows, knows how to pat-a-cake, and becomes very flexible and acrobatic when diapers and clothing are being changed.  He loves to people watch, would rather ride in the "stuff" part of the grocery cart than the seat part, is not a huge fan of sharing Mommy or Daddy with anyone else, and he's never met a food he doesn't like.  He ignored the wrapping paper and boxes at Christmas, fully appreciating every single gift he received, he only says "Mama" and when he's really, really mad at me, and well....we love everything about him.  

Most nights, we fall into bed exhausted but happy.  And then we wake up bright and early before the sun comes up, still exhausted, but we get greeted to Harrison standing in his crib giggling and smiling and ready to jump into our arms.  

It pains me to think that his first birthday is right around the corner.  This year flew by and took forever all at the same time.  It feels like a lifetime ago that we were bringing him home from the hospital and our old lives without him are just a faded blur.  It;s hard to comprehend that this little ball of energy that can move faster than we can chase him and looks more like a little boy than a baby has only been here for a matter of months. When the world rang in the New Year, I saw so many people bidding good riddance to 2011 and cheering the opportunity to close the door on it forever.  I'm sorry for those people and whatever it is they went through, but I am happy to say they 2011 is when my real life started, when it found meaning, when I learned what love is, and when I realized how important the little things are, and how umimportant so many things I cared about before were.  Harrison is the best adventure I've ever been on, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for us.