December 17, 2010

I'm Still Alive

...and busier than ever. I have things I wish I could write, and I've sat down a few times to try. I'm just too tired to put together anything salient. So this placeholder will have to do.

In my mostly part-time work, I have two or three projects to do a month. This fall I've had two or three projects a week in November and December. Of course, December is the biggest month of the year, project-wise. But I've been scrambling for seven weeks straight. It's not the stuff of posts: giving campaigns, special events, pageantry, even teaching a couple of adult classes at their request.

That adult class was interesting, though, because they asked for a repeat after the first one. They had asked the preteen class to tell them what they want from their parents to help them succeed in this world. The kids responded, I made a sort of "Glee-"like presentation out of it, and gave the adults questions to discuss with the kids. It seems they weren't done when class was over, and they asked me to do it all again so they could keep talking. We gave them the DVD of the presentation, and this time I added a few things I could not say while kids are present. They were hungry to hear it all.

This reminded me of when my kids were much younger and how we and all our friends were desperate for guidance on raising children. Many of us don't have extended family nearby to talk things over. Whenever a children's counselor presented for our group, there were never enough chairs. And yet no one talked if they were having trouble.

It wasn't until Ben sent us reeling* that we were transparent with the struggles we were having. I talked a little bit about that with the adults, and several approached me after class to thank me for being honest. If we don't talk about our difficulties, how are we going to get help? Silence perpetrates the illusion that we are alone in our struggles, when in fact just about everyone is making it up as we go along.

I haven't posted an update about Ben in a long time. He's doing just great; he's been on the high honor roll for four semesters. He apprenticed briefly at our auto mechanic's business and he's working part-time for Little Caesar's Pizza. He is happy, at peace, and in control of his future. He is not a standard student—as he says, he needs time, not help, to do his work—yet he wants to work in software, so he is considering an associate's degree at our community college after he graduates in the spring. This is the same boy who two years ago I feared would never graduate high school. He remains my miracle boy.

Well! It seems I did have something to say, after all. It just wasn't the philosophical subjects I have constantly going through my head. I'll save that for a time when I have more mental energy. Meanwhile, I hope each of you is enjoying the holiday season in whatever way suits you best.

This is a time when many feel lonely. Even if you're one of them—especially if you're one of them—reach out to one individual in a personal way to help them make it through not quite so lonely. Just one. Be gracious, even when others are not. It's how we can shape the world.

*If you're not familiar with that story, click on the "Amazing Grace" link in the right-hand column.


tornwordo said...

Glad to hear about Ben. It's been a while and I was hoping it wasn't bad. Have a great holiday!

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

You are such an encourager, Birdie. I'm not surprised at all that you were asked to teach another class. That subject has so many facets that you could make it your life's work. You always seem to know what to say. We are all in this boat together when it comes to children and each in our own way are trying to daily keep it afloat or make the going a little smoother.

I love hearing about Ben. That is such a wonderful story. I'm so proud of him and happy for you.

Hope things take a break for you. Merry Christmas!

rox said...

I love that you are you, so giving of yourself and your experiences to help others. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season and a Happy New Year!

Ur-spo said...

Thank you for all your updates
Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I like Ben already. And I love me some Crazy Bread from Little Caersars!

Can't wait to hear your philosophical thought!

"Sir" said...

Glad to hear your news.

No longer blogging as Doorman-Priest.