Monday, August 13, 2012

And Then It Hits You...

I know that through this break-up/single mom business I've been lucky. I've said it before. But it still sucks. It sucks a lot because it's not what I want. This is not where I planned to be at this point in my life. I spend a lot of time regretting the things I could be doing right now.

And then today a woman came in the store and started quietly looking around for a long...long time. I asked if she needed a hand and she shook her head, gently moving the wires from the ear buds the had in. Ooooook fine, I'll go back to doing other stuff.
She'd carry something all the way around the store then put it back and carry something else around the store. I wasn't really 'watching' her for shoplifting, but it was also starting to get awkward. She finally put a couple things on the counter and asked me to hold them for a second while she looked for something for her son. I said sure. She said it was her daughter's birthday, but she wanted something small for her 3 year old because he wouldn't understand-" and I chuckled a bit, and then she finished with "-that it's probably the last time I'll see them."
I regretted laughing. Usually people finish that sentence with an eye roll and a shrug about how they need something so its fair to the little one too.
She walked across the store and I re-directed her to toys I knew Toby would like. She picked one of them.
She said she was sorry for muttering about how expensive everything is, but for a single mom it is. I said I was a single mom too, and yes toys are generally expensive.
She softened a bit after that and asked what kind of things Toby was into. She asked if I liked working here. She asked if Toby liked coming in here.
She told me briefly of the problems she's having with the dad.
She told her her kids are in foster care and she's still fighting for them, but it's probably the last time she'll see them.
I gift wrapped her purchases and wished her luck.
She left and I went to go back to typing and realized how much my hands were shaking. The tears followed shortly after. Well crap, I still have to have the store open for another hour, pull it together.

I know I'm lucky... but... I'm Lucky.

Luke, I know you'll never read this, but thank you for being understanding and 'kind' throughout this.
Sabrina, Thank you for not being completely crazy, and for eventually realizing that I'm not crazy either.
Jeff and Sarah, thank you for being a giant ear to my many ramblings. And honestly if not for all this we still probably would not be talking much.
My parents, thank you for allowing there to be a roof over our heads and food in the fridge.
The rest of my family and friends, in-laws included, thank you for being nothing but supportive and generous for the last 4 years.
And Toby, thank you for all of your hugs and kisses and good morning 'I love yous', and for trying to be one of the best kids I've ever met.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What Do You Stand For?

I've had the song Some Nights by Fun. stuck in my head all week. My sister's had it stuck in her head for months. Hence why it's probably stuck in my head now. Cause she made me start listening to it.
If you haven't heard:

Anyway, song lyrics don't usually get under my skin and stay there...I've had a few songs 'wake me up', so to speak, in the past... But there's one line in the song where he shouts "What do I stand for?" and when you're singing along as passionately as he's performing, you start to ask yourself that question:

What DO I stand for?...

It's easy enough to pump your fist in the air and say "Save the Whales!", but is that REALLY what YOU stand for?
In a room of a thousand judging eyes, what would you unabashedly stand up to support?

I stand up for anti-smoking. I think it's the worst thing a human can do to themselves. Slow and painful suicide.
I stand up for breastfeeding education and awareness. People are free to have their opinions, as long as you are well educated on both sides of the platform. Breastfeeding in public is no different than someone pulling out a bottle to give to a crying child, if you have been educated enough to not see something perverse.
I stand up for books. Old books, new books....Red books, blue books. Reading books to your child from a young age gets them to understand language at an earlier age and encourages a love and success of reading, which in turn makes it easier to cope with school, and enjoy it.
I stand up for food. Good food. Market vegetables and local meat. Farmers feed cities, and all to often they don't get the credit they deserve.
I stand up for marriage equality. Just... seriously, why is it even an issue? Nobody asked YOU to marry someone of the same sex...
I stand up for respect. Respect for people's feelings. Respect for public property. Respect for elders. Respect for children.
I stand up for art. Art does more to focus the mind of a child than most people give credit for. Art is therapy. Art is joy. Art is learning. Art is playing. Art is thought provoking. Art is essential.
I stand up for enlarged recycling programs. On a warming planet with depleting supplies, finding new ways to re-use our waste is essential.

What do you stand up for?