Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sense in the Senseless

There is no rhyme or reason anymore. . .
We struggle to understand how someone could harm small children, we weep with families who are facing sudden, unexpected loss and yet in the midst of this, we hear stories of heroism. 
We hear about teachers who blocked bathroom doors as best they could and helped their students stay calm and quiet and then were able to reunite them with their parents. 

There is no rhyme or reason, no answers... at least none that will satisfy our hearts and minds. 
Gun control?  Maybe, but to what extent.  Better mental health services so parents who have children in need of help have more options, that don't include jail or juvenile hall?  ABSOLUTELY!  Autism restrictions - NO!  This sad, hurting young man was mentally ill and in need of our help, not our condemnation.  He leaves behind a father and brother both struggling to figure out how to help and how to live with the aftermath he left behind.  He leaves behind more questions than answers and a nation reeling with shock that someone could possibly hurt children and those who had nothing to do with his problems.

I don't want to fight, I don't want to point fingers, there are no winners in these debates.  I do believe we need more mental health care facilities, and they need to be created to be more affordable.  Do I believe that Autism means violence?  Not in every case, I think there were factors going on that may have played a part.  I know several families who have children with Asperger's, some of whom struggle to control their anger and one whose son I can see doing something like this because he has no impulse control and often retaliates against his siblings.   But in the end, no matter what the reason was for this tragedy it happened.  Answers will not bring back those lost, nor will they really offer comfort to the families struggling.

No rhyme, no reason, only questions and empty answers remain.  So I snuggle my girls a little tighter and thank God I home school them.  I offer up extra prayer for those grieving the lost children and adults in Connecticut.  But it all seems hollow and inadequate. 

Have a good week,
In Christ,
Maureen

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Crying


Crying.   I hate crying, even now.  But not for the reasons I used to dislike it so much.  I hate how it makes my face look red, swollen, and puffy and my nose all stuffy.  But that wasn't always my reason for hating to cry.

When I was younger, to cry meant you were weak - especially among my peers in elementary and middle school.  It earned me a seat at the head of the "let's make this persons life miserable" line.  I got good and keeping my emotions in check, unless I was very upset, then I would cry and it wasn't a big deal.

Then I met Chris and we got married and I became pregnant with Elizabeth and something bizarre happened.  Into my second trimester I began to cry at the drop of a hat.  Frustrated, I would cry.  I would see a dead cat at the side of the road, I would cry.  I would watch a sappy romantic comedy I would cry.  It got to the point where Chris blocked the Lifetime Movie Network, because I would always cry.   The real rub was that I knew I was being irrational which of course, meant I cried even more.  I cried in frustration when we moved my Mom to Wichita, and it took me forever to stop crying.  I think I freaked my friend Dave Egan out, he had never seen me cry and suddenly I couldn't stop - which made me cry even harder.  LOL, I was a hormonal mess. 

Thankfully with my pregnancy with Rebekah I realized I wasn't in control so it wasn't as frustrating if I wanted to cry.  Here's the thing, now I have children and things that would normally have never made me cry before make me cry now.  I even found myself crying at some happy moment during a stupid children's cartoon!!!  It wasn't even a good Disney cartoon movie, it was a B cartoon movie at the very least!  Thankfully, with this new found sense of freedom to cry comes a more mellow sense of humor.  Things that I would not have found humorous when I was younger, now make me laugh. 
I can laugh with my friends about things like smelling children's bottoms, or how children never want your attention until you are on the phone. 

Children change you.  Often in visible ways, those jeans you used to wear suddenly don't fit like they used to and probably won't ever again.  But they also change who you are inside.  There comes a transition for many moms and dads, it's different for everyone, but there comes a point where it's no longer about you, and your world begins to revolve around these amazing little people that God puts you in charge of to raise to be preferably civilized human beings.  If you do it right your children grow up with a heart for God, knowing how important it is to pray for others and help when they see a need, and if you are really lucky, they grow up to become amazing men and women we can be proud to call our children. 

Being a parent isn't easy.  Children do not go home from the hospital with a manual on what to do if this happens or who to call when things get crazy, maybe they should.  We are all learning as we go and figuring out how to raise our children.  Heaven knows there are plenty of people out there who think they have it figured out.  But if you are really, truly and honestly lucky you don't just raise your children, they get to help finish raising you and change you in a profound way that will never leave you.

I hope you all have a good weekend.
Love in Christ,
Maureen