Things They Don’t Teach In School- I Hate Mother’s Day Edition

Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand

Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand

One of the best things about blogging is the feeling you get when you hit publish but meant to hit preview and you know that the billions, millions, thousands, five readers will potentially discover an unfinished post that would have been brilliant.

Maybe we can turn that into a teaching moment and talk about the frustration we feel with teachers who demand that students be forced to regurgitate facts and not be taught how critical thinking or how to just roll with what happens and improvise on the spot.

If you happen to be one of those people who showed up and discovered a picture and a few lines click refresh because I am improvising right now, adding to the post.

Who Is The Most Important Person In Your Life?

The story about the teenager who sent one final text to his mother before he was killed in a tornado caught my eye. I can’t imagine what it would be like as a parent to receive a text like that, can’t imagine the heart ache that comes with not being able to protect your child.

What I do know a bit about is what it is like to speak with your child about what it means to live, what death might be like and how to reconcile it all.

My son spent most of Sunday working on school projects.  Three hours of the day was dedicated to a group project.  A classmate of his came over and they Facetimed with the other members and worked hard to beat a Monday morning deadline.

After the other boy left the house I took my son to lunch and we had a long talk about life. He asked me to tell him about why people get married, how to talk to girls, friends and how to figure out what kind of work you want to do.

I told him the answer to who is the most important person in your life has much to do with friendship, marriage and choice about living.

He asked me what that meant and I said that it is one of those things in life that can change multiple times and that it is tied into growth and experiences.

Who Are You & What Do You Do For A Living?

“Do you know what I want for you and your sister? When people ask you to tell them who you are and what you do for a living I want you to be able to answer without hesitation. I want you to say it with a smile and to be comfortable knowing you are spending your time doing something that fulfills you. And I want you to know it is ok if you don’t figure it out immediately because sometimes it takes a while.”

The answer to What Makes You A Man isn’t always something you figure out as quickly as you might hope or like but sticking with it helps.

Our conversation moved into his asking me about the men in our family and questions about great-grandfathers, uncles and that is what lead us to death. He told me death scares him and I told him I am not afraid of death. I don’t want to die, got lots to do but I am not worried about it and it is not because of my religious beliefs.

He asked why and I said if nothing comes after death than I have no concerns because I won’t be around. I won’t be happy or sad, I’ll just be gone. And if there is an afterlife than I figure I am going somewhere nice.

I told him I understand it may not be rational or logical in some people’s eyes but I don’t care because I don’t have time to worry about things that are beyond my control. My focus is on what is happening today.

The Most Important Person In Your Life

I told him that changes through time. I want family to always be a big part of his life because family should be people that are always there for you. He asked me if that included parents and I said yes. He asked me if I thought the same about divorced parents and I told him that divorce doesn’t change who your mom and dad are and then we touched upon girls.

When he asked me how to talk to them he told me he is not interested in girls but figured it wouldn’t hurt to not be as awkward as some of his friends. I said just talk, be yourself and understand that middle school is a really weird time where it is not uncommon for everyone to feel uncomfortable.

He told me he had a few questions about how you know how you are in love and then asked me for help with his Mother’s Day gift.

I didn’t tell him I have come to hate Mother’s Day. Well, maybe not  hate but I have a serious dislike for it. I don’t like the craziness that comes with trying to make the eight million mothers in the family happy.  It was much easier when I was a kid because my grandmothers came to my folk’s house and everyone was together.

But now there are so many people it is impossible to get everyone together and so it feels like someone is always disappointed. Kind of reminds me of the craziness that comes with Valentine’s Day.

They don’t teach you in school how to navigate this sort of chaos.

What Would Mr. Lincoln Do?

I like old photos like the one above. They remind me that many of the things we face today were things that have always been around. Ask old Abe about the importance of getting along with people and I am sure he would have a mouthful to say about it.

Wonder what he was thinking when he was shot. Did he think he was going to die? Was he scared? Was he able to talk to those who most important to him?

Do you know who is most important to you? If you were in a life threatening situation and feared you wouldn’t survive and could write a letter do you know who you would write?

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