One-liner Wednesday- 7-6-22- HOPE

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

“Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.” – Samuel Smiles

MLMM Photo Challenge #376- Choosing

black and white ceramic figurine

When Michael was a high school senior, he was barraged by advice, especially, the kind that promoted going to college. He felt dizzy the whole year!

Guidance counsellors, teachers, neighbors, and his parents brought up the subject nearly on a daily basis telling him not to waste his excellent academic record on anything else. He dutifully applied to ten different universities and was accepted by three of them.

He was ranked 3rd in his graduating class of 422 so his gang of ‘college cheerleaders’ were a bit baffled that he wasn’t accepted by them all until they found out that many of those colleges were aggressively chasing minority and female candidates before white males.
Yet, Michael wasn’t discouraged in the least by those biased preferences because he secretly hadn’t even decided he wanted to go.

A journeyman electrician had spoken to his class recently and the idea of being a lineman was exciting to him. Except for being an emergency surgeon, there was no more honorable occupation than that. Many counted on electricity for their very life!

One evening, he handed his parents a brochure for a ten month trade school for electricians and appealed to their pocketbook. The training would cost about one third of one year at college and, should he decide to go to college, he’d be leaving in deep debt . He won the argument.
Some of his classmates called him an ignorant rube for making the trade school decision but Michael never looked back.

Eight years later:
He’s twenty-six and has a well paying, exciting job, has bought his own land and built a house, AND he’s debt free. He knew not one of his university classmates who could make the same claim. Who’s the ignorant rube now?

https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/photo-challenge-376/

Building Self-esteem

133If you’ve ever watched a baby struggling to take her first steps, you’ve watched an exercise in self-esteem building. The struggle leading to sweet success is written on her face.

Parents waving and clapping make the event super fun yet the glow of satisfaction, the child exhibits, comes quite instinctively. It’s from the sense of accomplishment that baby feels.

Our modern society understands that self-esteem is very valuable to a healthy whole person, but sometimes, the zeal of parents, endeavoring to promote this, actually has a counter-productive effect.

The biggest misconception, about self-esteem, is that it stems from happiness. The happiness on baby’s face (above) is the end result of her struggles, bumps, and mistakes. It is not the cause of her satisfaction.

cleanup 451lips

I don’t know one mother who has not felt mortified by the realization that it’s “library day”, at school, and her child’s book has been left behind on the kitchen table. Take heart mom…your child will survive the trauma. She will learn, also, that responsibility for her own happiness comes from herself.  I speak from experience and my own mistakes. In hind-sight, I thought “good” moms smoothed the path leading to their children’s success. This was not a wise philosophy for building independence and responsible behavior.

It is clear to me, now, that self-esteem lives alongside of feeling capable. We learn much more from our mistakes and, by resolving, not to repeat them. This advice is directed toward new moms. Bite your tongue, and let your child fail while they are young and their problems (very big to them at the time) are not so big. Be there to help them design a better approach but avoid being the answer.

Katherine age 5
Katherine age 5

Hey, every parent makes mistakes. This is why they get a second chance with grandchildren. 😉

Example Rules

Al Sharpton
Al Sharpton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was remembering one of my first triumphs at school. It was an aptitude test on English grammar. In second grade, we were asked to choose the correct form of a word to plug into a sentence. Since we had no formal grammatical training before the test, I was very pleased to “ace” it.
Why did I have those skills at age eight? Simply because proper grammar was spoken in my home.
The English language has rules… not the kind meant to restrict our behavior, but those which apply in order to keep us on “the same page” and in the “same game”.
When I consider the modern distaste for rules, in general, and the emphasis on diversity, I realize many young parents are throwing an obstacle into their children’s education (and success) when they refuse to use proper grammar.
I understand that bilingual households are at a disadvantage automatically. All the more reason, in my opinion, for parents to school themselves in proper English.
Language has little to do with culture, so the clinging to slang and the blocking of the kids’ understanding of the rules of English grammar in the home, make no sense.
Al Sharpton is an intelligent man…Yet, he talks in a “street” dialect that, I assume, is an attempt to be “common” and endearing to the African American community. He “ain’t” helping anyone by confusing folks about English enunciation and grammar. Especially those people who have never lived in an environment where the rules of English were followed. Leading by example would be more helpful and honorable, in my opinion. Breaking other rules may gain a person attention and bravado but the rules of English language, once ignored, are terribly difficult to reclaim.
So, when parents consider helping their children’s efforts for a good education, the most important edge they can offer is the example of good grammar spoken at home.

Book Review: Crow Lake

I just read a book that I want to recommend very highly. Usually, I take an exception to foul language, unbelievable characters or a message that is not my own.

None of those apply with Crow Lake.

The reverence for a rural life, the comfort that can be found when one embraces a love of learning, and the possibilities for triumph over tragedy, are poignantly clear in this story. It also taught me that strength and success can take many shapes and come from unlikely places. Mary Lawson‘s description of the emotional effect of tragedy upon children was outstanding. Her story, about the unfairness of circumstance, a reminder to us all that good people can make all the difference.

If you are in awe of Nature…this book is also “right up your alley”.

This poster sums up the book better than I.

the Call

“Someone has a stinky?”

Three toddlers scrambled away from her. The room filled with giggles. It was one of those moments…giggles filled her heart, as fatigue filled her body. Her life had become an oxymoron. Dinah had provided child day care for over thirty years. Some of her first “babies”, had returned with their own. She felt as though she had influenced many children in such a positive beginning and she had done well. Only lately, she had visions of solitary places. Flashes of comfort much like the first touch of cool sheets on a hot summer evening.

“I want it!”

“I had it first!”

{Screech!!!!!!!!}

“Hey, screeching is NOT allowed here! I’ll just put the umbrella up until later.”

Dinah’s hands had grown stiff and gnarled with arthritis. Wrestling the umbrella from the toddler tug-of-war shot pain up to her shoulders. When did that happen? The repeated acts of shoe tying and diapering, not to mention, buttoning , snapping and zipping, left her hands throbbing at day’s end. Quiet…peace and quiet, someday…

“Phone,phone,phone!”

Dinah hadn’t heard the phone. No matter how busy and loud the house was already, a phone call prompted even higher voices alerting her to what she already knew.

She sighed, “Always in the middle of stinky business .” Then struggled up to her feet, bagged diaper in hand, to answer the phone. The phone was silent. The little light flashed signaling a missed call.

“Heck, I don’t care who it was. People just can’t understand that I’m working at home. You’d think they’d realize after all this…

The dog barked and as she swooped the “diaperee” into her arms, a knock at her door. Had it been a month already? The Jehovah’s Witnesses stood grinning and waving through the window. They were squinting their eyes playfully and added their own finger prints by tapping the glass . A pint-sized  greeting committee already blocked the doorway.

Dinah had always secretly enjoyed their visits. Old friends, adults, a break…But today they couldn’t be anything more than a nuisance. She waved her hand in the signal that they had developed for, “I am to busy!” They pointed to the Watchtowers  they would leave on the step  and  walked away.

“Phone,phone, PHONE!”

The only thing worse than those screaming “phone alerts” was the squealing party that accompanied the vacuum cleaner. If they were unable to drown out the vacuum completely, the oldest ones knew how to raise the volume on the TV to supersonic.

“OK guys! I know the phone is ringing. Hey the block box is out, who will build me a BIG tower?” Dinah really didn’t hear the phone that time either. Well, it was Friday and maybe she was becoming selectively deaf  at week’s end.

The receiver was blinking. Who the heck was calling her? She pressed the “missed calls” button and the light went out. By this time, Ava had a handful of baby wipes taken from a diaper bag and Kevin was after the dog dish! Why hadn’t she thought to pickup THAT DOG DISH?

“After thirty umpteen years, you’d think I’d learn.”

Dinah just sighed and wiped up the water, changed the child “top to bottom” and wondered what the other mother would think when she discovered the entire pack of baby wipes waded back into the neat little monogrammed container.

“Phone,phone!”

OK! There was no phone ringing and THIS had to stop!

Out of the corner of her eye the telephone was blinking. Dinah picked up the receiver and said,”Hello?”

“Hello?” came a whisper.

“Who is this?”

“Please…won’t you play with me?” The whisper sounded more like a distant child. “Is this Megan? Honey, where’s mommy?”

“I love to draw and read and write poetry.”

“I do too but I haven’t time sweetie. Do you need something? Where are you?” There was something very familiar in that voice. If only she could figure out which of her kids it was?

Suddenly a dial tone blasted from the ear piece. Dinah hit redial hoping to find out about the child’s whereabouts and if she were safe. 555-9971 flashed on the screen…where had she heard that number before?

“Kevin has the CDs!!! Help!”

“MINE,MINE!”

Dinah was startled back into the present and realized that there was much getting past her today. The CDs were all over the living room and toddlers were grappling over them. She turned as the 1-year-old retrieved the used coffee filter off of the over flowing waste basket. She lunged but to late, the grounds hit the floor with a splat. She scrambled to the sink and before the dish rag was able to swallow the whole mess, the dog ran through it.

“Phone, PHONE!” By now the infant was screaming for his delayed breakfast. The” phone alert” was some how easier to take.

“Guys, everyone gets a freeze pop if they can play the “quiet game” for two minutes.”  Realistically all she could hope for was 30 seconds but it worked. Even the infant must have understood. ALL was quiet. The phone was blinking.

“Hello?” she was loaded, anxious.” Heaven help him if it is a telemarketer!”, she thought.

“I remember you…do you remember me?”

There was an electric shock of realization. Her hands trembled and her knees buckled.

555-9971 was her phone number when she was child…and the voice was her OWN!

“Is this Dinah?” Her voice cracked.

“Yes, It’s you and I. I’ve tried, and tried, and tried to reach you!”

Candid camera had been off of the air for years…Dinah sat on the floor and put her head between her knees.

“Please…won’t you play with me?” The line went dead.

After a long moment, Dinah answered,” I miss you too sweetie.”

—————————————————————————

As Dinah cast her line, a breeze rippled across the pond. It was so quiet she could hear the grasses swaying. Her hands rarely bothered her since she retired and that novel inside of her was finally  taking shape…

“Knock, knock! Dinah, are you here?”

She jumped up to meet a mother with a child in an infant seat at her door. She must have overslept!

The mother walked in and set the baby on the table. “Where do these weekends go? I just hate Mondays! ”

Dinah jiggled the baby’s toes. “I think someone has a stinky?”, she whispered to herself.