Monday, June 27, 2011

New Relationships

The last time I really wrote on here, I had lost communication with a young dear friend of mine. She has now graduated from high school and should be starting college in the fall and I am so excited for her. I hope everything is going well for her.

I've been going through some really bad trying times financially. Today brought some good news through 2 venues. Thank you, God!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Simple Statement of Fact

If you do the SAME THINGS
the SAME WAY - - -
you get the SAME RESULTS.

Just sayin'...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Communication Is A Must In Relationships

You can have communication but not a relationship with someone,
but you can't have a relationship with someone without communication.

I've lost a relationship with a young friend this year which makes me sad. Actually she was an adopted godchild. I was kind of her grandmother mentor, even though her mother is only 10 years younger than I am, and she has a perfectly good grandmother.
Yet she needed someone else in her life in that role, and for awhile, I filled it.

Because she lives about 45 minutes away, it has taken work to maintain this 3-year relationship from the start. We have talked on the phone, written emails on computer, text-messaged, and seen each other face-to-face on rare occasions.
She's almost 17 years old and driving and has been working part-time in addition to going to school. So she is busy, and I am busy. And so communicating at times that were good for both of us has been difficult.

I have discovered with my own grown children, that you have to communicate in whatever way works for them in order to hear from them. When my daughter lived in Knoxville, we would have gone broke if we had called each other. But we emailed back and forth. When she moved to Denver, she started text-messaging, so I had to learn how to text-message to keep up with her. My son emails me often. If he calls it's a rare occasion, or it's something bad. We do what we have to do in whatever manner to communicate with each other.

And so with P, the godchild, we've tried it all, but in the last few months, nothing has worked well. The first train wreck was when she went on Fall Break with her parents. Though she text-messaged me on the way to FL, it stopped abruptly when she got there. Come to find out, her father told her she couldn't call or text-message me, because the phone carrier service would charge him extra down there. I could understand that, maybe, but why didn't she tell me that ahead of time? And come to find out, she took a friend with her. She hadn't told me that either. I began to discover that not only were we having trouble finding a mode of communication, but that she was not communicating. I began to feel like I was talking to a brick wall. She had been only offering "how are you" and "I hate school/work". I wanted, "saw a cute boy in my class today," or "had a math test and it blew me out of the water," or "I have a friend and we went shopping and I found the cutest pair of shoes."

When I would call her, invariably her parents would give her something to do. When she called me, it would be about 9pm and I learned she was supposed to be in the shower or getting ready for the next day, and she was talking to me while changing clothes, or with her head stuck in the closet picking out clothes for the next day, or packing her lunch... she was distracted. I had trouble getting her attention.
Okay, phone wasn't working. Then we went to text-messaging, but you can't have long conversations that way, plus, her dad cut that off at times. Why don't you email me, I asked her. I'm too busy. No time to get on the computer. I didn't buy that. I think her parents had restricted her use of the computer. Or... she wasn't very concerned about really communicating with me to start.

The Saturday before Christmas, I had a great-niece born. This niece has the very same name only spelled differently from my godchild! I text-messaged her to tell her - I thought that was exciting because it is a pretty unique name anyway. I think she responded "cool". Some of the relatives at the hospital live north of Nashville, as does this godchild. They said it was snowing up there! So I asked the godchild if it was snowing at her house and she said she didn't know. I asked why she didn't know - was she still in bed? (it was about noon) She said no. Then she said in a typical smart-aleck teenager tone - "If you want to know, why don't YOU look?" She missed the part that I was in Nashville. It wasn't snowing in Nashville. I heard it was snowing NORTH of Nashville. She lives north of Nashville. That's why I was asking her. And to share something with her. And just to talk to her. At that point, I told her to go back to bed, and when she got up in a better mood from the other side, I'd talk to her again.

The relationship has gone downhill since. If I text-message, she answers but she does not initiate any conversations - by phone, or email, or text-messaging.
I did send her an email about friends - some are friends for a season, some are friends for a reason, and some are friends for a lifetime. She did email back and say she didn't "get it".

I'm pretty sure her parents have told her not to correspond with me - unless I contact her first. I can't knock her parents. Her parents are her parents.

In the brief conversations I have had with P since Christmas, she only rattles on about how she's losing friends, and it's not her fault and she's doing the best she can,...??? I think there is alot more going on than meets the eye. But she's not telling me what that is.

I know her parttime job has put her under alot of pressure with getting her schoolwork done. I think she would have been alot better off working last summer, instead of starting when school started, but that was her parent's call.

And so I think about her, and wish her the best, and hope that one day we can be friends again. But for now, it's over. You cannot maintain a relationship without communication. This opened my eyes to that fact. And that's sad. I can only hope she learns HOW to communicate with people she cares about.

Makes me wonder why in school they teach the basics such as "reading, writing, arithmetic" but they exclude such life skills as basic appropriate communication from one individual to another.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Random Thoughts on Parenting

Okay, it's been over a year since I posted anything. Since getting back on this site, I have found several things to change, and wanted to do more, but decided to stop and WRITE. That's what happens to me these days... I get distracted and don't complete the task at hand.

Well, because of several things that have happened in the past couple of months, I have been taking looks at the past. The distant past and the faraway past. But the past leads to the present. We don't need to dwell in the past. We don't need to lie in the mud. We need to appreciate today for today. But there is some value in analyzing what has happened and made us what we are today.

From a conversation with my brother today, I am convinced that we all have those snapshot moments from our childhood and of our past, that affect us in very real ways today. As Dave said, they aren't whole videos of chapters of our life. Just unconnected snapshots. They don't have to make sense to anyone but us. We feel what we feel. Might have been explained away if given the chance to communicate. But we carry them with us today and into tomorrow.

I think that no matter how good or how bad our childhood, we all walk into adulthood with some kind of baggage.
And I am convinced that parents do the very best they know how while bringing up their children.
But there are always consequences, from a response, spoken or acted upon, and given little thought about at the time.

Times have changed and life is not like it was 40-50 years ago.
And just as I brought some of that snapshot baggage with me into my adulthood, my children have snapshot moments they have taken into their adulthood.
I cringe and hurt and am embarassed and ashamed sometimes when they talk about things they remember I did in their childhood years.
Why does it seem everyone remembers the bad times but not the good times?
Or at least the bad far outnumber the good.
There are so many things I hoped at the time to erase from my kids' minds and hearts and egos.
I feel I did more tearing down than building up.
I hoped and prayed they wouldn't remember the bad - but they do.
My parents would probably feel the same way.
But they aren't around for me to talk to. (Talk to your parents while you can!) And children from the same home can come away with totally different perspectives on their upbringing.
My brother was a great kid. He was a little adult and got into little trouble.
I thought. In hearing him talk, he had his own share of problems and feelings of insecurity.
None of us come away unhurt.
Very complex. How do you break the trend when you are raising children?
Do perfect environments exist today?
Are only top-level, mature Christians capable of making perfect homes for children?
Is there perfect?

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm Bbbaaaccckkk!

Okay. I was feeling guilty. I "fussed" at a friend for being an IT, website guy and not updating his blog in 3 months. But then I realized that I am a MIS grad and I haven't touched mine in 4 months, I am.
Ice storm being predicted for tonight.
Christmas tree finally all decorated last night.
Stairwell and mantle due tonight. (Bob did the garland for the stairwell today - I have to fix the bows tonight.)
Bob working nights and weekends at the mall in Customer Service. Seems to be good at it, and enjoying himself. Gives me some time to myself, but sometimes - like a Sunday afternoon - it is TOO much time and I really miss him. Springfield really misses him too.
I am feeling detached from the season for some reason. Not stressed. I keep telling myself it is NEXT week. Waiting 'til payday to buy presents. WHERE IS THE MONEY? GIVE ME the money!
I think I am going to cook/bake something for several of the presents. That is
s-a-d. Pray for those people!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

"Don't Do That To Me"

I was leaving the library, 2 movies in hand. The week has been long, and by the time I had made it to the library to pick up a movie they had on hold for me, they had 2 movies on hold for me. It was a beautiful August summer afternoon. Temperatures in the upper 80s. Not too hot.

The young woman was enviably attractive. I heard noise... wailing coming from a young child. Just past the young woman was a small child... A tow-headed boy who looked too young and too frail to be walking. I smiled, thinking of Matthew when I saw him. He was too thin for his age. But his spindly little legs were carrying him forward with a DVD clutched in each hand. Beyond him, I heard the noisemaker. Dressed in all blue, his blond hair cut in summer crew style, was a young boy, probably 4 years old. Over and over he cried out, "Don't do that to me"..."DON'T do that to me..." He was trying to hang on to several books as he hurried toward his mother and the library. "Don't DO that to me..." I heard his mother, now moving on behind me saying, "Then maybe next time you will listen to me." "Don't do that to me..." The boy's words rang in my ears as I got in my car. Six hours later, those words have embedded themselves in my brain.

At that young age, that young child was able to communicate - Don't do THAT to me. Don't do that to ME. His mother had done something that caused fear in him.

I wanted to sit the mother down, and tell her... don't teach your child a lesson in that manner. Don't invoke fear to get desired results. Oh, the times I would love to call back in regards to my children. As young parents you work so hard to produce the ideal children. You want others to be impressed by your children and how they act, speak, behave, succeed. You don't want your children to end up as delinquents, heaven forbid. And your children end up being victims, instead of objects of love and acceptance.

I assume that little boy was not listening when he and his mother and brother got out of the car. I think when Mom moved forward, he wasn't paying attention, and she went off and left him behind. The boy wasn't hurt. He was not at risk of getting hit or abandoned. He was tanned, well dressed, obviously well cared for. But he couldn't see all of that with his 4 yr old mind. He only knew that his mother was moving away from him. And so the soulful cry, "Don't do that to me." The words have left a haunting ring in my ears. How was he able to articulate what he had already learned in life? May he stay mindful of boundaries, and what is acceptable and what is not, and how to communicate that to others.

Don't do that to me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Landry and me

Landry - the 11 yr old granddaughter - came over and spent the night Friday and then most of the day on Saturday. "The weather outside was frightful!" Grey and cold and windy and rainy as the winter storm moving across the country hit our area. We made cookies and watched Hallmark movies curled up on the sofa all day. What a great day of rest and relaxation in this time of rush and busyness!

The lights are on, but you aren't there...

I went by there Friday night. The lights were on. Lights were on everywhere. On the fence, on the porches, trees inside, trees outside... She wouldn't have liked it. It wasn't "her". It suits the new lady. The look was inviting and warm, but she wasn't there. A moment in the busy rush where I unexpectedly missed her. Time out of the hubbub to just... remember. I love you, Mom.