Thursday, March 6, 2008

Well behaved women rarely make history

A woman that I "met" through the large families board has recently started blogging. Maybe she did before and started a new one recently, I don't know.

Anyway. I feel a not-often-felt connection with her. Not only does she follow a lot of the same beliefs that I do on children and families and God and everything, but she also reminds me of a younger version of myself. Her blog reminds me a lot of the early days of this one and her struggles to find her place in her beliefs and her balance between them, her family, and her faith have actually been helping ME to sort out my own. How interesting how God puts people in your path for you to learn from and possibly offer something to in return, maybe just so much as a kindred spirit.

As I've grown older I've learned. I'm always learning something and seek out information and knowledge pretty much every waking moment of my day. I may not have a PHD in anything that ends with -ology, but I do consider myself quite educated and intelligent. (and if you disagree now would be a good time to simply shut up and let me have my moment. dammit.)

I do think though that there are a lot of times in my life when I don't use that knowledge. It actually started when I was a child. It was simpler then. In the 4th grade we had a spelling bee. I was an awesome speller (I know, you wouldn't know it now. right?) In the beginning, when the entire class was standing up there it was easy. Then as people started getting boo'd off the stage. Ok maybe not. I made that up. But as the line of people started getting smaller and smaller my tension grew stronger and stronger.

You see. I had a big problem letting people know I was smart. It terrified me to stand out in the crowd and it bothered me for it to be show that I was better at something than someone else. It all just made me uncomfortable. So by the time there were only 3 or 4 of us left, I mispelled my word on purpose. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I made my way to my seat but at the same time, as I watched the end of the spelling bee and knew precisely how to spell each word they were given without a second thought, there was a deep sadness within me.

As I grew older this issue impacted my life greatly. In middle school we moved to a new city and I had no friends. In high school, desperate for friends I started hanging out with the "fun" crowd. We partied, we drank, we smoked our Camel Wide's, we wore those uber classy jeans with holes ripped in the ass, we got pregnant at 16. (no wonder really, we had holes in the asses of our pants after all) Ok not all of us got pregnant at 16. Just me. And that one girl, but she also got married at 16. The marriage lasted a year I think.

Anyway. Whether this is true or it was just perceived this way by me, there was no room in my social group for a smartie pants. There was no room for someone that talked about deep subjects, about the world, politics, religion. Most of the time everyone was either too drunk or stoned to pay attention anyway. (for the record, I never once got stoned in high school. Just have to clarify that).

I did really badly in school. At first it was because the work was boring and far too easy. Then later, I had a reputation to uphold. If anyone knew I was smart with interests in REAL issues rather than pot and Metallica, surely they would want nothing to do with me and I'd have no friends and be forced to marry someone from the chess club. No offense to anyone in the chess club. Really. If you are married to someone in the chess club I'm sure he's a hottie.

So, the stupid act (and you know, I did get pregnant at 16 so maybe it wasn't always an act) carried me through high school.

In my early adult years I was so busy being a mom to toddlers and continuing to make bad choices that I really didn't have much time to educate myself. But as the kids got older and I matured, I dove head first into learning. Learning anything I could get my hands on really. It never stopped. I love to learn.

The more I learned the more deep rooted some of my beliefs became. Certain issues became pretty black and white to me. As much as I tried to keep an unbiased opinion on a lot of things, the value of what I consider right and wrong prevented me allowing much of a gray area.

Losing Alex was the turning point. Losing Alex forced me to really take a deep look at who I was and what I stood for. Losing Alex led me to God when I had been astray for quite a while and it took away my innocence. I learned the hard way that we really do have to treat each day like it might be the last. We have this simplistic attitude that parenting is this thing that we will screw up at, as true as that is we really can't afford to if we can help it.

Knowing first hand that any of my children could be gone tomorrow prevents me from beleiving that things like "crying it out" are good for anybody. How would you honestly feel if you put your baby to bed and let her cry it out and she didn't wake up the next morning? For the rest of your life you would hate yourself. You would think about how in her last night on earth she was alone, afraid. Your arms would ache for the time you had to hold and rock her. Could you live with yourself?

The same idea forms my deep opinions about working outside the home for luxuries. Would your fancy car really be important to you if you had to drive it to the funeral of one of your children?

This is why I am as passionate as I am. I try to find the balance between being a good, non-judgemental Christian woman and screaming from the rooftops at people who take it for granted. I really do try. Sometimes, though, I can't help but be angry when I see kids that only want what is thier birthright, care and comfort from their parents who aren't getting it because something is more important. What could possibly BE more important I ask you... WHAT?

You might say "well if God forbid something happened, I'd know I did my best to give them a better life". I'm sorry, but if it did happen to you, that is not even close to how you would feel. I regret every day things so simple as that I didn't kiss Alex the last time I saw him. I didn't for good reason, the kids had the sniffles and I didn't want to risk passing anything on to him. I regret things as simple as when before surgery I was able to hold him and I had to go to the bathroom so I put him in his bed and when I came back he was sleeping so peacefully I didn't want to bother him so I didn't pick him back up.

You are probably thinking something along the lines of "my gosh, how can she blame herself for those things! For going to the bathroom? For not spreading a cold to him? that's rediculous, she was doing the right thing for him!" That's probably true but none of that matters when your child is gone. You cling to everything you can blame yourself or anyone else for and you hold onto that blame because it's all you've got.

So the reason I'm so passionate, the reason I get so heated and arguementative is because I know what it feels like to waste something so precious as time on things that at the end of the day, when it really comes down to it, mattered a lot less.

So, my friend from LF. Don't ever lose your passion. Don't ever give up your will to fight for babies and families because someone feels you aren't a good Christian if you have opinions. God gave you what he did for a purpose. Fullfill his purpose. You will have people that hate you for it, God knows I do. But if you can change something for ONE PERSON, ONE BABY, then it is worth any amount of hatemail in your inbox or on a message board.

If anyone wants to head over to her blog and give her a little encouragement follow the link below. If you just want to be mean and nasty EMAIL ME instead


lilpeasinmypodfrom~God said...

FREAKING KAT!!! You have me crying. :0( You are so dang sweet! I am so sorry for your loss. I know I didnt loose a full term live wiggly, touchable baby, but loosing two to miscarriage really changed my outlook as well. I try to really live each day with my children as if it could me my last. I think me having a heart problem really does that as well.

Anonymous said...

Kat, I'm also from the lf board and I'm sitting here stunned. You've got a gift with words, my friend. brilliant, sharp, clear, and beautiful. never stop using it! there are women worldwide who need to hear that much clarity spoken loudly, but lovingly, into their ear. May God truly bless you, deeply and tenderly! Thank you for writing this. --Lindy aka "LindyLou" ;)