Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I am sure you have noticed this phenomenon in your own worlds, but I have been faced with a most unfortunate example today. Someone I care about has had a really rough year... and today, her aunt and uncle died in a motorcycle accident. As if she hasn't had enough pain in one year, it has tripled in one afternoon and it left me wondering.... why is it always someone good who suffers so much?

I had a little conversation with God about it, but as always, those conversations end up being very one sided. I asked... and the answer didn't come. So, I Googled it. Yahoo answers posted this as their best answer "My mom always said that the devil doesn't mess with the bad people, because he already has them." The Experience Project said "sh*t happens to everyone... good or bad." And Wikipedia said "to gain wisdom, to teach us a lesson, so we get closer to [God]."

So, after trolling the interwebs and finding nothing, I was forced to come to my own conclusions... and it came in two parts.

1. Bad things happen to bad people too, but the difference is that I don't care. It don't mean no never mind to me if Joran Van Der Sloot's father died, because he is a bad bad man and I don't sympathize. Bernie Madeoff has some medical issues, and I won't lose any sleep for that thief. But, when my cousin has a horrid year and it just became more difficult, I care. I sit up and I take notice, and I take the time to ask God and Google for answers.

2. God and Google don't have answers. The world works the way the world works, be it a divine plan from God or Karma or randomness. It is what it is and I can't fathom or fix it. But, it is what you do with your days that makes the difference. I think Rocky Balboa said it best... "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But, it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."

So, to my cousin and the rest of the people out there who are suffering through hard times... I don't know why things work this way. But, I do know that the key is how we take them and move forward in our lives... and good people like my cousin can do it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

When I Grow Up...

I've been pondering about my employment status for awhile now. Back in 2006 BC (before children) I was in the HR business. I was hiring, firing, disciplining, etc... and it is really the only profession I am qualified for. Plus, (TOOT TOOT, says my horn) I am good at it. But, as I sit here with an unemployed husband and I am facing the possibility of going back to work sooner than I originally planned... I know I just don't want to be in that field anymore. I spend my home life disciplining people, I don't want to do that at work, too! Plus, I just don't think I can take people seriously anymore as they tell me that they are great multitaskers and organizational wizards. My new interview questions would revolve around whether or not they've ever held a thirty pound 1 year old while suffering from a torn rotator cuff as you decorate a birthday cake on the day your other son had adenoid and ear tube surgery. If the answer is "yes, I can multitask" I am going to punch them in the face. So, that leaves me with a very important question (one that I share with Tabbi and the other tween children in my life)... what do I want to be when I grow up?

Instantly, I thought rock star. Great hours because I am a total night owl and maximum income potential. But, when I realized that, movie star and professional athlete all required skill... I ruled them out. So, realistically... what am I going to do with myself? My friends have suggested that I become a writer, but I appreciate them more for their support than their literary criticism skills. I was Googling stuff and found one theory that basically said that you should pursue a career in the area of the shows that you watch on tv. Based on that logic, Mark should be an alien. So, forget that. I came up with a couple ideas all by myself: nurse or teacher. Pause for reaction.

I am a little hesitant to go the teaching route. I have a degree in English Literature (yes, I realize that degree is worthless, don't feel compelled to point that out), so I could teach with just a few teaching courses and the certification. But, I don't really enjoy children (except my own, so don't speed dial CPS quite yet). I could not deal with a room full of bratty 5th graders OMGing their way into my daily migraine. Older kids are even worse. One eye roll over my lecture on the symbolism in Catcher in the Rye and someone may get bitchslapped. But... the hours are good, summers off and I really enjoyed my high school's chocolate chip cookies. Surely most schools have those, because like Dorothy, I am not in Kansas anymore.

In truth, I think I am leaning toward nursing. I think I would really enjoy it and the odd shifts would work well with my kids. Plus, I love medical dramas (hello George Clooney and Omar Epps) so that theory may be more accurate than I thought. I realize I need to go to school and get some training (although I feel very confident in my skills after the hours logged with ER, House and Grey's Anatomy and I desperately want to yell "CLEAR" some day so that must count for something). But, I think I may have found my calling... although the call must have been dropped a few times over the years.

I remember a few of the nurses in my past life and I've decided I want to be them some day. I want to be the one whose name I don't know but she grabbed my hand and held it, even after I brushed Mark's hand away as a sign of false confidence when we learned that I had placenta previa and might lose Jack. I wanted to be strong for Mark and my family, but that nurse knew I was terrified and that stranger was strong for me, even when I didn't know I needed it. And the nurse who walked into ICU with me, my Mom and my Aunt Barbara after my other aunt had a heart attack post liver transplant. Patti was in a medically induced coma and the nurse walked by and whispered, "talk to her." I never did speak a single syllable for fear that if I opened my mouth only sobs would come out and the nurse smiled and said, "It's ok. She can feel that you're here." I even remember the nurse who held a bedpan under me when in labor with Will and I asked her if that was the grossest part of her job. She smiled and in the most casual and reassuring way she said, "Oh girl, you're in labor. You haven't begun to see gross yet." It made me laugh through the next contraction that otherwise may have made me scream.

I want to be that person for someone. I want to hold a hand, assure or crack a joke that someone will remember later. I want to put someone at ease in a time where nothing is easy. I think that I can pass along some of what these nurses in my past have given me. And, who am I kidding... I will rock those scrubs.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nobody's Favorite

I am nobody's favorite. I never have been. In elementary school I wasn't a teacher's pet ever, and as I grew older that never changed. Even my cliques came and went. I never stayed in the same group for long. Then in high school I settled into a group, but even then... I wasn't a favorite. I tried to be my friend Martin's favorite, but Valerie was just better. (Not that I am bitter or anything....) Geez, even my college boyfriend told me that he didn't want to hang out with me EVERY DAY.... just when his friends weren't free. Hmmm, red flag much? I have carried a lot of labels through the years, typically using either the designation of involving either the word funny or sarcastic. And strangely, I am fine with that. I don't need to be the head of the Momunists, I don't need my phone ringing off the hook (cuz I only answer it if I am in the mood anyway) and my Facebook friend total stays around 100 (and I only actually talk to about 10 of them). But here is the conundrum... I am starting to see where my kids aren't favorites and that is a tough pill to swallow.

Will was a total favorite in his preschool class and I was so pleased. His teacher thought he was the cutest, sweetest and really.... who am I to disagree with that?!?! But, in other areas, he isn't. For example, in his swimming lessons right now.... he's way not the favorite. I am pretty sure the screaming, crying and bloody claw marks around his teacher's neck is the cause, but still. Can't she just love him best through the pain? Unfortunately, Tabbi isn't usually a favorite either. She talks to a lot of friends at school, and her Facebook cred is shooting way higher than mine, but I see other areas where she is not appreciated like she should be. She is left out of some group activities at times and not invited to participate in things that she would love and excel at... but she just isn't a favorite enough to get there.

So, I wonder... how do the favorites get to be favorites? I see a favorite schoolmate of Tabbi's on rare occasions and it appears her mother is a favorite too. So, did I condemn her to this "unfavorite" life because I didn't do enough to Momunist up? Should I teach my kidlets the art of the suck up so that they get the invites that I never did? (Ok, I'll need to hire a tutor because ass kissing hasn't been my forte). Or, do I try to teach them what my parents must have taught me at some point.... that being me is enough... favorite or not.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Major League Mea Culpa

I know a couple that doesn't feel like competitive athletics are good for their kids. They want their kids to focus on academics and the arts, feeling like only negative things can be learned through competition. Thanks to a sport I don't even follow, I think they were proven wrong today.

Last night a Detroit Tigers pitcher, Armando Galarraga, came within one call of being named the 21st person ever to pitch a perfect game. Unfortunately, the umpire made a poor call and it took the game and the historical designation away from him. Galarraga covered first after a hit into right field and he clearly tagged the bag before the runner crossed it. But, the umpire saw it differently, counted the runner as safe and the perfect game disappeared. What a heart breaker for Galarraga... but what a lesson for the rest of us in what came next.

Today the umpire, a man named Jim Joyce, apologized. There was no excuse, no explanation. Mr. Joyce threw himself under the bus and just said he flat out got it wrong. He took the perfect game away from "the kid" as he called him, and you could hear the genuine remorse in his words. And, in this age of athletes throwing temper tantrums and hissy fits on the field or court, do you know what Galarraga said? He said ironically, "nobody's perfect. Everyone makes mistakes."

Giant companies give excuses for why our gulf is filled with oil, politicians use 100 reasons why each decision they make isn't actually their fault, and adulterers get to blame their misdeeds on anything from child abuse to sex addictions. On the flip side you have athletes threatening to kill line judges and swearing at the crowd, coaches throwing chairs and attacks from scorned wives with golf clubs. But, in this instance... in this rare display of honor and sportsmanship it was just an apology... and a graceful acceptance.

Find a way to teach your kids that with a text book and a paint brush... I dare you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This can't be right...

Jack plays with our play kitchen by pulling it away from the wall and then knocking it down. He screams to have it put back, and then lather, rinse, repeat as needed. Isn't this the definition of insanity?

Glenn Beck, of his show of the same superfluous consonant name, announced days ago that family members and specifically children, should not be involved in media attacks on politicians. Then he promptly recorded a conversation between "Malia" played by himself and "President Obama" played by another idiot (ahem, I mean radio dude on the show) depicting Malia as stupid and babyish. Apparently Glennnnn likes to draw lines and then catapult himself right over it.

Will was in his room for over an hour after his bedtime last night until he needed to come down announcing it was "Cuddle time!" and explaining that he came down because "well, I just like you soooo much." How can you argue with that?

Yahoo! News had a lead story yesterday featuring where Kate Goslin spent her Memorial Day vacay. If that is news, then one can only assume we have world peace, a rejuvenated economy, universal health care and a pristine environment. Yay us!

Jack doesn't speak much, but when he passes gas he feels the need to yell "TOOT" to the entire world and then laugh hysterically. And, I think my older brother does the same thing.

They just announced that the hope for stopping the oil leak resides with James Cameron. Not sure if he is getting a robot from the future to plug it up or if he will just make an animated, clean ocean for us to look at instead....

I finally get up the guts to be a totally annoying neighbor and ask if I can bring my boys over to her pool for a swim, and it's raining and storming all day. Where is Alanis Morissette when you need her? I have another verse for "Ironic."

After scientists came out saying they have created artificial life, a giant sink hole opens up in the Earth. Coincidence? I think not.