When things get rough, my friend Jamie writes everyone she loves a group text. You’d have to know Jamie to know why this is funny: she’s the sweetest, kindest person on the planet. Gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, loves every living thing. This thing she says is code for her having a bad day and no one—NO ONE—takes it seriously. It always says the same thing:
“I HATE EVERYONE!!”
I’ve shared a number of times that I realize that despite the opposition and eye rolling, my kids mostly LIKE that they are fed crazy-healthy food and are crazy-healthy as a consequence. I like to tell you some of the times my kids actually seek out the good habits I’ve taught them.
But just so you know? It isn’t always like that. I have moments of wanting to send out a text to the universe saying I HATE EVERYONE. Sometimes my son says mean things and I feel like a failure. Like, “I’m sick of green smoothie life! I don’t want to eat the weird brown bread with yellow and brown seeds in it! People make fun of me at school.”
He then begins cataloguing the breads I buy that he likes, and the ones he doesn’t, and I get cranky, too, and tell him I’m not particularly interested in the catalogue rankings.
I seriously doubt this idea that kids make fun of Tennyson for BREAD. Or, maybe I don’t doubt it, and actually I’m just totally insensitive to the plight of people who are mocked for having brown bread in their lunch. Maybe I think that being made fun of for stupid things, and surviving it, builds character.
One day last week Tennyson texted me an SOS:
“Come check me out of school PLEEEEEEASE! Someone wrote me a mean note and called me gay for NO REASON!”
People say girls are drama. Not at my house. The wailing, hypersensitive, emotional person at my house is…..a boy.
Sometimes I might even say mean stuff back, when I’ve had it up to my eyebrows with wailing about dumb data I can’t conjure up any sympathy for. I may or may not have once said,
“Yeah? You don’t like it? Go over to your dad’s house. Start walkin’. There’s a whole bunch of junk food over there.”
(I hate when I’m a master manipulator. Because that stops him cold in his tracks. He’d much rather be here, so he caves in and says so, and I feel both smug and guilty.)
So what I’m saying is, I am in the trenches with you. Sometimes I get a ridiculous amount of whining about The Program here. One thing I’ve learned, through parenting, and marriage, and divorce, and life in the fast lane…..is that just because today is LAME doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be AWESOME.
Last week I played a tennis match with a teammate who has been sidelined by injury and a busy life for SEVEN YEARS. Her first match back on the court. Little bit rusty! All three sets went to tie breakers.
In the third tiebreaker, we were up 10-9. The winner is the first to 10, and you must win by 2 points. So, it was MATCH POINT. I served the ball, and we rallied for a while, and I put the ball away neatly inside the baseline. The game was over.
Except our opponent yelled, “OUT!” I looked at my teammate in horror. The other team has the right to make calls on their side of the net. You can throw a fit, but there’s no line judge, so what’s the point?
I didn’t say a word. No need to expend pointless negative energy. I went back and served my next point, and we won it. Now we were up 11-10.
It was the other team’s service. We’d struggled to return the serve of our opponent who was up—she’d aced us once, and we’d struggled to return her slicing serve the whole match. Consistent, never a double-fault.
She served it into the net. Second serve, she tosses it up. And……serves it into the net again.
The match is over. Her face is horrified–her only double-fault of the day–and what a time for it to happen!
Welcome to the Land of Karma, baby.
If you put a lot of good stuff out there, it’s not like a gumball machine. Sometimes you put the quarter in and nothing comes out. Or a sharp nail, or a pointy rock, or even a gooey booger, comes out, instead of the pretty orange gumball you wanted. (It’s a METAPHOR. Hang in with me.)
But most of the time a gumball comes out. Sometimes TWO! If you made a line graph of it, putting quarters in gumball machines gets a LOT more gumballs than boogers!
Awesomeness tends to beget more awesomeness. Awesome people are attracted to other awesome people. Sick people (emotionally or physically) are attracted to other sick people.
On the average, I’d place big fat bets on karma. I’d place more bets on karma than Lady Luck in Las Vegas, or anything else. Most of the time, good is rewarded and bad is punished.
Apply it to parenting. Apply it to nutrition habits. Apply it to attitude.
Victim behavior and negative talk makes bad stuff flow my direction like a magnet. I stay away from it.
And when I’m tossing all kinds of good bread out on the water? The brown bread with yellow amaranth and brown flax seeds in it, which people apparently make fun of in 7th grade?
I totally expect big helpings of good stuff, eventually.
Give karma a big hug for me, when you see her.