August 30, 2013
CJ has not been getting a lot of sleep lately. Between school, band, and work he has been a busy boy. So yesterday when he came home from his day completely spent, I asked him if he was okay. His reply was that he had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep the night prior since he was worrying about something. It turns out that that something was the issues his GF is having. In addition to all of the same things CJ has been dealing with, GF has been troubled by the less than encouraging feedback she recently got from her soccer coach. He is not a man to candy-coat things and his opinion of her play in the last game was not covered in sprinkles.
So I stopped worrying about CJ for a few minutes and decided to worry about GF. I would love to sit down with her and say some things to make her feel better, but since she has been witness to some of the decisions my son has made and probably assumed they were due to my parenting skills, my advice is certainly not something she would seek out. However, my contention is that his inability to keep a tidy personal space, or his friendship with Rowan, or his unkempt facial hair choices, or even his entertainment preferences ("Hey, let's go see Kick Ass 2"); are not issues to which he first sought out my guidance.
Therefore, I thought I would get the advice out of my head and onto my blog so that it would be out there and available. Do with it what you wish.
Here is what I, as an elder in the community, have learned about life. Sometimes it sucks. There, I'm done. Just kidding. Actually, I have decided that there is a reason that sometimes life hands you a challenge. I firmly believe that each of us has a plan. It is not a definitive plan right up to the point when you know you are going to die due to the expiration date on your birth certificate, but it is a plan from up high. I am not going to declare outright that the plan is from God as I am not in tune with your religious inclinations. Therefore, you can believe the "plan" can be from any of a number of gods or god-like influences: Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Ozzy Osborne, Hillary Clinton, Yahweh, Alf (you may have to look him up-it is short for Alien Life Form), that little talking dog from Men in Black, Vidal Sassoon (I know how important your hair is to you), or Lady Gaga.
Nonetheless, there is a plan. Along the way you will make choices involving right and wrong, vanilla or chocolate, and Coke or Pepsi, but these decisions are not going to make or break the plan. Ultimately, you will be where you need to be. For you, the sky is the limit. With your talents, personality, and parents that care about you, your job simply becomes rolling with the challenges you face along the way. AND learning from them.
Since I am brand-loyal to Jesus, here is a religious example. In The Bible, there is a story of how the Apostles (Jesus' friends) were in a boat on a lake when a storm came upon them. They were frightened for their lives. Out of the darkness, Jesus came walking up to them on the water. No jet ski or inflatable alligator. He invited Peter to walk to Him on the water and he did. At one point, Peter started to doubt that Jesus would protect him, and he started to sink. He lost faith. Jesus then saved him. The point some people miss from this story is that Jesus did not calm the storm right away or take away the cause of their dilemma, he simply guided them through their troubled waters. Two of the apostles, Simon and Garfunkel, later wrote a song about the experience.
So take some advice from your elder. I have been through countless times in my life during which I wondered why I was being handed such a challenge. They never stop coming. You have seen some already in your tender years. Divorce, tough coaches, and bad haircuts have caused you strife.
No, your hair looks fine, why do you ask? Oh, I forgot how sensitive the female psyche can be. I didn't mean a bad haircut, I meant an unfortunate wardrobe choice.
Ugh. No I am not referring to the time you wore boots with your shorts and came over to our house. I thought you looked fine. And by fine, I mean perfectly appropriate given the event and weather and...oh never mind.
Anyway, my point is, that all of the events that we encounter along the way are meant to shape us for who we are to become. Survive, learn, grow and move on. This is how we do it. ( Now get that song out of your head the rest of the day.)
For all you know, your current coach could be the turning point in your life that helps you either become the next Abby Wambach, or the President of these United States. My only caution to you is that if you choose to keep my son around for that second choice, I am not sure how good a First Lady he would be. First Man? First Gentleman? First Dude? Not sure. His inability to clean up after himself and his drum set in the White House basement could be a problem.
From which you would have to survive, learn, and grow.