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Monday, December 17, 2012

I Was Too Desensitized.

On Friday I wrote a silly blog about Elf on the Shelf and subsequently spent the next few hours stalking Facebook to see if anyone commented on my little blog. In one of my Facebook-stalks I saw a headline something to the effect of “Shooter 20 year old with ties…” I did not click the link. I thought briefly about the headline and thought that it had something to do with some shooting from earlier in the week. Some shooting I can’t even remember the details of. 

It wasn't until I saw the deluge of posts about children that I thought of clicking that news article. But even as I moused-over the headline, I didn't think much of it. The word “shooter” didn't even register an emotional response from me. I am that desensitized to the news of violence that the words didn't even bother me. 

It makes me sick. It is a shame that we live in such a media-hyped-up violent world that it takes the brutal death of 20 small children to register on our hearts and in our minds. But how soon before we forget? How soon before I am again desensitized?

I put my kids on the bus this morning, turned around and looked at the path of destruction they left and thanked God for it all because if I didn't have them making the same messes every single day then I would have nothing. 

If I didn't have them and their messes, I would have nothing. 

I can’t imagine what those mothers are going through today as they realize, through their unimaginable fog of grief, that it is Monday and their children should be going to school leaving behind unmade beds, piles of dirty clothes and every light on in the house.

As I walk around my house today turning off the lights, I will remember the children whose lights will never be left on again.

Let us never forget. Every time we turn off lights behind our children let’s not forget those children whose lights are off permanently. Let’s not forget those children that witnessed this horrible violence; those children who won’t let their mothers turn off the lights for dread of the dark.

Let us never be desensitized to this violence.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I am weak.

I have several blog articles in the works including one on my anticlimactic visit to the dermatologist but I had to leave them unfinished to write today’s article.

I must confess something: I am weak; I have no convictions, no back bone. Oh, I talk a good game – I can rant, I can rave – but when it comes down to it I am easily influenced.

Case in point, guess what appeared in my house this morning….

For those of you that don’t have children or are somehow able to keep outside influences away from your household, let me tell you about the “Elf on the Shelf.” The Elf magically appears in your house at Christmastime (or can be seen at Target for $29.95). He or she sits in conspicuous places and watches your children’s behavior by day then at night she flies home to Santa to give a report. The next morning your children wake up early and run around the house looking for the new place the elf has chosen to hide. Over-achieving elves find humorous and sometimes theatrical places to hide. They may also write your children a cute little note. 

I have resisted this new craze. I have stomped my foot. I have been heard to exclaim, “I’m not getting one of those flipping elves!” But, like I said, I am weak. 

My eldest has decided that we must be too well-behaved to have an elf and promptly behaved even naughtier. My middle child beams whenever he has reported the goings-on of his classroom elf.  My littlest one has managed to slip the words “elf on the shelf” into conversation whenever he can. 

I tried to tell the kids that maybe we've had one all along but we just haven’t seen him. That didn't fly. So, finally, I told my son that I would talk to Santa and ask him to send us one. I thought this bought us some time. After all, Santa is busy and we may have to wait until next year.  But, I went to Target yesterday….

This morning my little guy came running up to me with the biggest, dimpliest, only-to-be-matched-on-Christmas-morning grin squealing, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Look we DO have an elf on the shelf! I have to tell Justin!” 

Yes, I am weak but it was so worth it.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wasting Time?

I haven’t done much writing in the last few weeks but, no worries, I've had lots of excuses. There was an extra week of Halloween to prepare for then we had to quickly turn around and prepare for Thanksgiving. We hosted several events at our house over the last few weeks – so lots of pre and post party clean up. I've had to be at the school for various functions for my preschooler, kindergartner, and second grader. And there were kids birthday parties to buy presents for and to attend. There was the perpetual cycle of laundry, and grocery shopping, and cooking meals, and doing dishes. Now, of course, there’s the Christmas decorating and shopping and cooking. It just all seems so mundane sometimes, like a big waste of time.

I can’t help but feel like I’m just spinning my wheels. We all have 168 hours per week to spend our time, how do we spend it effectively? What defines spending it effectively? If my house is clean, has my time been spent effectively? What about the reverse?

I know that many days I don’t spend my time wisely. Hence an entire blog devoted to the subject! But, really, what is spending my time wisely? If today I sit down and write for several hours while my children play with real, non-electronic, toys this is a good use of time, right? But my husband may come home to find lunch dishes still on the table, a load of laundry mildewing in the washing machine, unmade beds – you get the picture – and he certainly would not agree that my time was spent wisely today. If I was a paid writer, perhaps. Therefore, does being paid for something mean that it is not a waste of time? What if you hate your job? What if your real passion was your hobby? What if you have no passion, is your entire life a waste of time?

I know I am not the first person in the history of the modern world to ask these questions. Is even asking these questions just be a big waste of time? Love to hear some comments on the subject!

Meanwhile, I've written a blog entry for the week. Check that off my to-do list (waste of time or not, it is done!). Now, off to clean the kitchen. Again. And, just for fun, here's a picture of the mess of a kitchen I am sitting in as I write this entry. Notice the lunch dishes still on the table at 2 pm. My three year old is making a can tower precariously close to my laptop (who is going to clean up this can tower?). A pile of papers sits on the counter behind him. Dishes are stacked next to the sink along with recycling to be taken out. Oh, but notice the count-down to Christmas chain that my daughter and I made together. Yay me.