Tag Archives: friend

52 FEATS – NUMBER 50 (Making Friends)

13 Dec

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

I’m happy to announce that I did great with last week’s Feat!  Based on a more consistent schedule, Jenna has already improved so much with her reading lessons.  And that definitely makes me feel like I’m doing a better job as a mom!

Last week I was at a restaurant with my family when I happened to strike up conversations with two complete strangers – something very unusual for me!  They were both very nice – one was an older man telling me about his grandkids and his love of Christmas lights, and the other was a young mom asking me questions about local schools.  We talked for at least a couple hours.

Maybe the romance of the season is getting to me, but I think I need to do this more often.  It was a nice thing to do, connecting with complete strangers who turned out to be very friendly.  I actually enjoyed talking to them; surprisingly, it didn’t feel like a chore.  Maybe my little grinchy heart is ready to grow three sizes!

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Valuing Ourselves – and Others

30 Aug

Jen’s latest FEAT—which centers on self-acceptance—got my wheels spinning back to a thought I’ve had many times over my nearly 16-year career as a mom: Other moms can make you feel like crap.

Like the high-school queen bee whose popularity rises in proportion to how bad she makes other girls feel, certain moms relish nothing more than a) pointing out the talents/innate genius/physical gifts of their own offspring and b) snarking about other moms and their children.

These chicks are smart in how they undercut their erstwhile rivals, rarely engaging in any kind of face-to-face confrontation. Rather, snide side comments to a third party are their forte. This has the two-fold effect of putting the first mom down and intimidating the listener.

Back when I lived in Little Rock and my teen daughter with autism was a toddler, another mom I knew (a friend, I might have said at the time) constantly regaled me with her own daughter’s brilliance, particularly when it came to her staggering vocabulary. This stung all the worse as on that score my daughter (to this day largely nonverbal) was showing a notable lack of progress in that area. All the while, Uber-Mom kept discussing another friend’s child, about whom she had “concerns.” It got so bad that I began a pattern of cancelling play-dates at the last minute, too anxious to cope, too gutless to explain why.

While I’m definitely not blame-free on the score of expressing opinions about another child or mother, I pray I don’t ever do it as a way of inflating myself. I am the first to admit my failings as a mom—and I’ll readily share them with whoever’s listening. But do take a page from my book and steer clear of mothers with a not-so-hidden agenda of tearing someone else down to feel better about themselves.

We’re all better when we don’t.

52 FEATS – NUMBER 28 (Counting My Blessings)

12 Jul

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

It was my plan to do a “Counting My Blessings” Feat this week (I also thought about calling it “Keeping on the Sunny Side” or “Remaining Positive”), and yesterday it became much more important than I originally realized.

A friend of mine was moved to a hospice center last night.  He’s been battling cancer for over 3 years now, fighting with everything he’s got.  It’s not that he’s a super-positive person; in fact, you might consider him downright crabby, even on his good days.  But the will to survive is strong, and he has endured more than any of his friends can believe.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to defeat this terrible disease once and for all.

All kinds of things have been going through my mind, things about which I can’t come up with answers.  My friend isn’t married and has no kids – does that make this situation better or worse?  Is it right to expect certain responses to grief from others?  And what about the ethical dilemma of withholding nutrition?

I’m going to visit him tonight.  I’m nervous because I’ve never been to a hospice center, but more so because I’ve never talked to someone who knew they were dying.  I don’t know how to handle a conversation with him, but I’m going to do my best to get my crying done before I see him.  Then afterwards, I’ll come back home, have another good cry, and kiss my kids within an inch of their lives.

Count your blessings, people.

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