Tag Archives: children

The Joy of Adult Parenting

“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
~Anne Frank~

Sage-Corkscrew Swamp, Naples, FL
Sage-Corkscrew Swamp, Naples, FL

Anne Frank had it right. You can only give good advice and try to teach your children the path to walk down. While our children may inherit or mimic their parents actions, the one thing we have to remember is they are not us and will choose their own lives. But the “remembering” is not so easy and we often find ourselves with adult children who blow our minds with actions and decisions made that “we” would never do.

The first thing as a parent I have to consider as they are both adults, though still young, is sharing my wisdom (such as it is) and insights without being critical. I also have to now respect each of their differences. It’s truly a balancing act and I don’t know that I will ever have it down, but I do so try.

As I have a solid relationship with both of my daughters, I am and will be forever blessed. As they age, I’m learning  they will  (or is it still?) come to me if they need help during a “crisis” and that I need to keep clear of unsolicited advice.  But the discernment from “crisis” to “chronic” is murky at best sometimes – especially if chronic things have escalated into a crisis.

For example: The ongoing struggle between my sun and moon daughters over cleaning their apartment is a chronic situation that often turns into a small crisis filled with yelling and bitching. But learning to live with others and respecting each other’s choices as adults is something they have to do which means I struggle not to interfere unless called upon by one or both parties. I offer the requested advice and a shoulder, but as young adults, they must learn how to deal with “difficult” people. And each of them finds the other difficult and they have for years.

Again – the whole issue is about respect. They need to respect each other despite their obvious differences. Yoda and I have worked hard to show respect to them and to each other as a model for our lives. They each have to learn they are not the other and will choose their own paths. If they can respect that and respect each other, I believe that at the end of the day, the sun and the moon can come together to create something truly beautiful.

The path we all follow is not easy. It is a lifetime of learning and growing. But in choosing to be a counsellor and friend to my adult children instead of their coach or referee is a better option. In the end, they will each have their own strengths and their own character to be passed down to the next generation.

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Is There Hope in the Middle of Hell?

“There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control.”

~ Leo F. Buscaglia ~

It looks like a scene from the middle of Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran – a bombed out warzone.  But instead of bombs, it was an EF4 tornado that ripped through the middle of America and desimated the lives of hundreds of people in Oklahoma. Entire housing blocks were razed, cars mangled beyond recognition and what remains are scraps of the lives of normal communities on what started out as a normal day.

Among the missing and the dead, children. These children went to school at Plaza Towers Elementary School; they laughed and ran and played on a playground that exists no more. Rescue workers worked through the night and are still working today to find those children who have not been located in the rubble.  I choose to believe there is hope for these children and their frantic parents.

People across the United States are pouring out their wallets, their closets and their homes to help those affected by this disaster. Facebook pages have been created to help people locate property that was dropped miles away from where they were originally housed. Photographs and documents that landed on the ground as so-called falling debris up to 100 miles away (at this point,) might look like detritus but are in fact irreplaceable artifacts or documents for somebody.   Facebook, Petfinder and other organizations are helping people find their furry babies and reunite them with their families.

Here are some of the community pages set up on Facebook at this time:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=o.477306085682757&type=1#!/MooreTornadoLostAndFound  -Moore Tornado Lost and Found

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=o.477306085682757&type=1 – Photos of Moore Oklahoma Tornado Pets Lost & Found

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=o.477306085682757&type=1#!/MooreTornadoRelief – Moore Tornado Relief

And here’s the link for Petfinder. http://www.petfinder.com/ 

There are many other pages on Facebook designated to help those in Moore, Oklahoma try to rebuild their lives. There are also many more organizations around the area and the country taking donations.

Everyone is talking about how so many have died or were injured.  It could have been worse. Much worse.  Moore has 36 sirens in their community. These sirens in Moore, Oklahoma saved many lives.  Residents had 16 minutes to find shelter. If you haven’t experienced the process, the sirens sound once the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning. They serve as a signal to turn on a television or radio to get more detailed information about the storm and instructions on how to seek shelter.  Most people that live in Tornado Alley know how it works. We are taught from a very young age what that sound is – what it means. 

I’ve lived in Tornado Alley, which encompasses 12 states, my entire life. As a child, the tornado drills in school prepared us for what “could” happen, but hasn’t occured here in Amarillo as long as I have been alive. I always assume when the sirens sound danger is moments away.  This is a danger I pray doesn’t happen any time soon.  And as the threat of more storms lay on the horizon, I pray none find their way to Moore, a town of 55,000 that has been decimated twice now by mother nature. I pray these survivors find peace and hope in the middle of hell.

Pre-Graduation Panic & Mayhem

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” 
– Ralph Waldo Emerson – 
Yesterday, I thought the collective minds of my oldest daughter and myself were going to implode or explode – your choice. She had been working on a video presentation for the senior celebration at AACAL and the day of the celebration, it crashed. Then, to add insult to injury, 6 hours before the event, it decided to not only crash, but completely evaporate into the outer stratosphere. The whole thing – gone. Woosh! 

It was a lucky thing I had planned on coming home a little early to help with the crash. I ended up coming home a couple of hours earlier than that and started slamming together a PowerPoint presentation in an attempt to salvage what I could. For about 4 hours, I typed seniors’ achievements, schools and all of that jazz. When Eldest got home from school – she started throwing in the pictures parents had provided. 

I apologize to the seniors who were inadvertently missed or forgotten. There was some information that had been e-mailed or texted late to Eldest and I wasn’t privy to that information. I am very sorry if you were missed. It wasn’t my intention, nor was it hers. I do hope that you understand that bad things happen to good computers. 

Today, Eldest is going through a similar-feeling situation with trying to get stuff together for another, bigger banquet. She had a few things thrown at her toward the last minute, though I think a little of this is procrastination combined with a HEAVY workload. I will just be happy if she gets it done and wears clothing to the festivities tonight.  

But all in all, I think Emerson’s quote is rather fitting for the events of the past couple of days and in future days to come. It’s those moments of panic when we have to dig deep and find out what we are truly made of. Some people cave under the pressure while others come out okay. I’m hoping Eldest is the later. After the celebration presentation last night, I told her, “It’s over. There’s nothing more you can do now. Just breathe and move on to the next thing.” 

Isn’t that what we all have to do?