Wednesday, February 23, 2011

in caleb's room.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

dear new baby,

when i found out that i was pregnant, let's just say that it was not "ideal" timing.  we have had a lot going on this year, and there were some extremely stressful circumstances surrounding our family.  i was shocked, and i will admit it, immediately worried.  i didn't feel ready, emotionally or mentally or physically.

after walking upstairs to let your dad know {i had taken the test without him knowing, honestly because i thought there was a big chance that i was just being paranoid}, i sat down on the floor of the office and announced that we needed to talk.  he had been working on homework, and swung around in his brown chair to face me.  i told him the news, with a surprised look on my face, my eyes huge, wondering what he was going to say.


was what came out of his mouth.  he was shocked too.  but then, a smile immediately came to his face.  he said that he couldn't believe it, but he was happy.  for the rest of the day, we looked at each other off and on, smiling and shaking our heads.

little baby, the past few months for me have been a roller coaster.  even though leah's only almost 2, i had forgotten what pregnancy feels like.  and i had never been pregnant before while handling a fairly stubborn toddler, and taking another child to school.  i have felt more tired at times than i can ever remember feeling in my life. 

but i want you to know that there has never been a moment that your dad and i have felt an ounce of regret or not wanting you.  we have always wanted more kids, and i know that especially once you are born, we will have the same feeling that we do about your brother and sister.  that we couldn't imagine life without you, that you belong with us.

i wanted to thank you for what you have already taught me.  you have reminded me of what love really is.  it is about sacrifice and unselfishness, and wanting the best for someone else over yourself.  it helps me to remember that the love i am already feeling for you is just an ounce of what God feels for me.  

life is a parallel, and i just needed to step outside of my own needs and wants or thoughts of what is ideal timing for our family for a minute to remind me of this.

i love you already, baby.  so does your dad.  and we just can't wait to meet you.

love, your mom.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

dear leah,

my almost 2 year old baby girl.  i think that life without you around would be pretty boring for caleb and i at home.  you keep us laughing and exasperated at times, but you're always a joy to be around.  

i love that you wake up so happy, singing and playing in your crib.  i love listening to you for a few minutes before coming in your room to get you up.  i love hearing you sing "ABC's" and "i love to see the temple" "ode to joy" and your new favorite, "moonshadow."  i love that you request me to sing it to you all of the time.

i love that when i do come into your room, you say, "hey mommy!  what's up?" as you reach for me to pick you up.

i love that you are seemingly fearless, except when it comes to any flying insect.  even then you will stand stoically and yell, "SHOO FLY SHOO FLY SHOO FLY!"

i love that you still adore the bath and could stay in the water for hours.  i love that you are the perfect mix of girlie-girl and tomboy, wandering around outside for long periods of time in your princess shoes and adorned in "pretties," while throwing dirt all over your face and hair.

i love the way you tuck your hand under my chin whenever i pick you up.

i love that you call any kid your age "friend" and immediately walk over to them and say, "hi friend!" i love that i have to trick you into bedtime because otherwise it turns into a long game of hide-and-go-seek and usually ends in you throwing a tantrum.  i love that you like to hide in the closet in all of your dad's dress shirts, or downstairs in the curtains.

i love hearing you say prayers.

i even love your stubborn, sassy side.  i love that you test boundaries and are constantly pushing me to see if i will be consistent with the rules, because it means that you trust me enough to follow-through and take care of you. 

i love your lisp (lithp) and hope that you always have it, even when you're 25.

i don't especially love having to chase you around the backyard when it's time to come in, mainly because you usually end up squeezing yourself into the most disgusting place you can find....that little corner between the cement wall and the nasty garbage can.  but i do love that as i have to move the garbage can to get you, i can hear you giggling and squealing in excitement.

i love that when you giggle a certain way, you get the hiccups, just like me.

i love that you want to do whatever it is that your big brother is doing.  and i love when you will spontaneously give him hugs because it shows that you do love him, despite all of the times you like to scratch and pinch him.  i love how you call him "caycub brudder" and how when he leaves the room you yell, "CAY-CUB BRUDDER, COME BACK HERE!"  and then run to find him.

i love that you adore your dad, and that you are the only girl in the world he will sit down to have a long tea party with. 

i love that you love to read books, all of the time.  and that you memorize your favorites so that you can read them to yourself when no one else can.

i love that when you are sick you'll let me rock you to sleep.

i love your long, crazy hair that makes you look a little like thing 1 and thing 2 from the cat in the hat, especially when you run.

i love your perfectly shaped red lips, your dimples and round cheeks, your olive skin that stays brown all year, the color of your hair and your big brown eyes.  and i love love love your chubby legs.

i will always think you are beautiful, no matter what size, shape, hair color or career you choose.

thank you for reminding me to slow down and enjoy my mornings with you, that the time i have with you is priceless, and will quickly change.  thank you for coming to our family, and i hope you'll always know how much your dad, brother and i love you.

love, your mom.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

dear caleb,

my favorite 5-almost-6-year old boy!  i love walking you to the gate at school everyday where you still want to give me a kiss good-bye, and then take off at full speed, usually roaring or making some loud noise as you go through the gate to go and play with your friends.  i love picking you up, where you run to me, so excited, and jump into my arms and then immediately start chattering about all of the adventures of your time away.  

i love that you are an "old soul" and want to know how things work in a grown-up way.  you have always been such a thinker, and analyze and consider everything.

i love how kind you are to your sister, even when she looks at you like you're a piece of steak and chases you around the room, trying to scratch you.  i love that you never fight back, and never take advantage of being bigger than her.  i love that you have always been gentle with others.

i love how you obey, i notice the small things like being able to leave your leapster in your room all week long and knowing that because i said that you only get to play it at certain times, i can trust that you're going to leave it where it is and not sneak and try to play it.  or i never have to worry about you sneaking candy when you're not supposed to have it, or getting into trouble when you're left on your own during quiet time.  you have such an honest heart and i love that so much about you.

i love your chipmunk giggle, especially when you're tired and it's out of control.

i love that you are happy when you wake up, happy during the day and happy when you go to bed.  i love that you are kind to others.  i love that you still pick me flowers.  i love when you sing with me.  i love especially when you sing the instrumental parts of songs, it makes me laugh and reminds me of myself.  i love when you make up jokes.  i love watching you read books to leah.  

i love hearing your prayers.  you say the most thoughtful things in your prayers, always remembering those who are sick or need extra help, and remind me to be more thoughtful with mine.

i love listening to your thoughts, and all of the facts that you store in your head, and the way that you figure out math and can read so easily and spell words.  i am always amazed at how smart you are, and often get to feel like an idiot having to google search the types of dinosaurs you tell me about.

i love that you adore your dad, and want to grow up to be just like him.  you couldn't have chosen a better hero.

i love that you love rock & roll music and will spontaneously bust into some of the funniest dance moves i have ever seen when music comes on.

i love your beautiful eyes, your dimples, your smile.  even when you have candy in your teeth.

i love that even when things are hard for you physically, or you're afraid to try, that you can come and talk to me and then you go out and do your best.

i love that you love healthy food, and can chow down on a bowl of salad faster than i can.

i love that you have a strong spirit, but somehow are still so sweet.

i love that you are still innocent in the way that you think and feel, and know that it is only a matter of time before that changes.

thank you for these last 5 years, you have taught me so much as i can see myself through your eyes.  you are such a good boy.  i am so proud of all that you have come through and that you still have such an enormous love of life.

love, your mom.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

make sure you're sitting down.

just in case you can't believe your eyes, i will verify what you're looking at.

valentine's day decorations.

for the first time.

in 8 years.

it looks like doily hearts have thrown up in our house.

and i like it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


this is a picture that ben took of me while i was on the computer
in seattle, skyping with he & the kids.

sometimes technology blows my mind.

p.s. someone needs to dust their computer screen.

Monday, February 7, 2011

giving it all to those who deserve it, and only pieces to those who don't.

provided by google images.

***originally posted on our private group home blog, 11/27/07.


so yesterday i came walking down the stairs when to my left i heard some frantic chirping and fluttering. 

i looked over to see a small bird had flown through our front door which had been left open accidentally about 5 inches. 

i called for ben and he did his best to summon the small creature....think a male version of mary poppins with a spoon full of sugar but with more facial hair, and without the awesome purse hiding a lamp inside. the bird actually sat on ben's hand for a minute, but the as soon as ben would move or even look like he was going to move, the bird would flip out and start frantically ramming into the windows. crashing over and over, it became disoriented and i was afraid it was about to do some harm to itself. finally the bird caught on to the fact that we were trying to help him, and flew out the open door, stretching its wings and embracing its freedom. 

my dreams of one day owning my own aviary or possibly whistling a duet with a bird while convincing the british children i was baby-sitting to tidy up or take their medicine were shattered, but i watched it take off, and felt peace knowing it was back where it belonged.  

 these few moments got me thinking...we had a really REALLY bad day with *carrot top  yesterday. to the point that he did some more property damage, standing on the top of the countertop, removing every glass dish in the home and crashing it to the floor, shattering it into pieces.  he moved to the family room, taking every book off of the shelves, throwing them across the room.  he overturned the couches, yelling and cursing as loudly as he could.  when that didn't get the results he wanted {your guess is as good as mine as to what those results are}, he then decided to try to get some negative attention by doing some self-harm, picking up a fork, scraping it down his arm repeatedly, until blood was drawn.  this is what he did while sitting on the couch, as i taught our family home evening lesson to the other kids. 

 he goes through this cycle every so often of not knowing how to deal with his anger...or boredom...or fear...or whatever it is.  there is no telling when it will stop, or if anything that we say will break through to him.  even though i know it's not necessarily by choice, as i was sitting there, teaching on "loving one another" and watching the metal prongs of the fork scrape up and down his arm out of my peripheral vision, it sure felt like it was all a show.  a cry for attention, in its worst form.  i didn't give him the attention he sought, because i know the pattern of this, and to show any type of concern/frustration/anger/sadness, will only make things worse.  will only exacerbate this.  so instead, when i watched two drops of blood slowly drip down his arm, i stood up without breaking my sentence of changing the inflection of my voice, walked to the kitchen, grabbed a paper towel and handed it to him.

i know him.  i know his history.  the experiences he had to endure in his beginning make me sick in my gut and make my heart cry out.  he is a child of God, i remind myself.  and at 16 years old, he has no idea what that means.  but all of the ways we are trying to teach him what this means, he does not see it.  whether that is by choice, or a result of his beginning circumstances, i do not know.  

i thought about this little bird, as ben and i were doing everything we could to get it to safety & freedom, the bird continued to flutter about, bashing itself into walls and windows. i was so extremely frustrated with carrot top yesterday and couldn't believe the level he will take things just to get negative attention, again disrupting the home into a chaos that feels like it will burst the very walls of its foundation.

before family home evening and the forking episode, ben and i and carmella (our awesome staff member) were there, talking softly, reasoning, trying to make him laugh, teaching and teaching some more, and when that all failed, finally telling him he is sinking his own ship and needs to start bailing himself out, that there is nothing more we could do. he had to make his choices.  and he just kept hitting himself against walls, windows, dressers, couches, you get the idea.

what i'm saying is that i got a little perspective yesterday. that i don't know how much time it will take for carrot top to understand that the front door has been open the whole time and all he needs to do is just stop fighting and start flying. 

maybe he will never understand. maybe it will just take some time, like the bird. 

but whatever he chooses, ben and i will be standing there with our hands open, ready to help.  ready for him to see his way to freedom.


most people who read this blog know that before we moved to arizona, ben and i lived in & managed a group home for troubled teenagers for a year in north carolina. when i look back on that year it feels like an out-of-body experience, that it was me there during all of the craziness, but it really wasn't.  most days i felt like i was on robot-mode.  doing the work, day in and day out, but not really living.  i'm not sure how better to explain it.

when i was in seattle last weekend, lindsay jane asked me, if i had the chance and knew what i was getting into this time, would i work at the group home again?

i've thought about that question since she asked me.  

when i answered lindsay, i said no, i wouldn't.  at least i wouldn't do it with the me of 2007.  i felt completely unprepared for the things that we faced in that house, and the issues it brought forward inside of me that i didn't even know existed, bubbling under the surface.  it's not that i didn't want to ever face those issues, i just didn't want to have to face them while living in a somewhat traumatic situation that i couldn't escape.  where i felt i couldn't even take a breath for the majority of that year.  

a lot of times i felt like i was behind bars in that home.  like the kids weren't trapped there with me, but i was trapped with them. i tried to be as happy as i could, given the situation.  ben & i had a great relationship, and we made close friends with our co-workers.  but i often felt like i was suffocating in the chaos and the screaming of those kids, the overturned couches, broken dishes and punching walls.  it triggered something inside that caused pretty severe insomnia.  and when i could sleep, i had terrifying nightmares. 

i had no idea that i even struggled with anxiety until about 9 months into our year there.  i brought it up to ben, what was going on.  how when one of the kids would "go off" which meant in a pretty severe way, my mind couldn't relax and let go from the events that would occur.  over and over again, i would go through the details of the conversations with the kids and be up until 3 or 4am.  and if one of their tantrums really ended badly, where they had to be restrained, or hospitalized?  my mind wouldn't let go for days.

i recognized what it was, and also recognized what triggered it.   i had no control over the environment of my own home, i could not feel peace there.  and what bubbled underneath, from years of my childhood where i experienced this same situation, came bursting to the surface.  and yet dealing with the old hard & ugly while trying to create peace in this new hard & ugly was overwhelming.  i did my best to compartmentalize, and put my issues on the back burner to hold it together for the kids, and for myself.

knowing now what i didn't know then, i wouldn't have accepted the job offer if i had known what we were getting into, because of caleb.  our 2 1/2 year old, special needs son.  granted, he was never harmed or even saw much of what the kids were doing, but that was because after the first week or two of us living there & me getting a taste of what life in that home was really like.... when the first boulder came crashing through the window and the first broom broke through the glass on the door, while he and i were sitting only a few feet away, i kept caleb separate.  he spent most of his time upstairs in our place, or ben & i would split our time where one of us would be out with him while the other one worked our employees and the kids.  i just couldn't trust them, they had proven that to me, specifically targeting him with threats when they were upset.  and knowing that i couldn't trust them around caleb made me even more anxious.  

whenever caleb was downstairs with us, i was on hyper-alert.  i couldn't relax, and wouldn't let him out of my sight.  at the first glimpse of one of the teenagers freaking out, i walked caleb upstairs and would situate him with toys and a show so that he wouldn't have to hear the crashing or yelling.  or worse.

there were good things that came from that year, like it brought ben down the path of returning to school for his psychology doctorate.  before that year we had been floating from one job to the next while he tried to figure out what he really wanted to do.  ben was so amazing with those teenagers, and his patience and unconditional love was spotlighted in that situation.  he is going to make one fantastic therapist, and is planning on working specifically with teenagers.

i learned how to shed the layers of a really difficult-to-love individual, and see them through God's eyes.  the year pushed me to find a strength that i didn't know i had.  to not give up, or quit when internally i was struggling desperately to hang on.  i relied so much on God that year, praying night and day that i could find the strength to go on.  that i could remember and firmly grasp the reasons that we accepted, and remember too that this job wasn't something i felt that i wanted to do, but had to do.  it was my first experience of receiving a personal witness that at that time in my life, i was living and doing exactly what God wanted me to.  

aside from the anxiety that surfaced, i also realized something i hadn't known before about myself.  i thought that i was a pretty loving, open and accepting person.  and i think that in general, i still am.  but i came to see that i am also someone who completely shuts down emotion when i have been repeatedly hurt by another.  i did not know how to love those teenagers for where they were at, and not internalize their issues.  their emotion was contagious to me, and when they screamed curse words in my face or even tried to physically hurt me, i could not separate that it wasn't really me they were mad at & hated.  their words pierced me, and the anger they sent my way devastated me.

i walked into that house and wanted to give each of them all of my heart.  

but i have learned that in life, there are some people you can't give all of your heart to.  because they aren't in a good enough place to take care of it and not hurt it.

these are the people you can give only pieces of yourself to, and then the rest you protect.  i just didn't know how to do that yet, without being hurt.  so instead, with the kids, and specifically carrot top, i shut down.  i would feel anxious when he was coming home and that anxiety would manifest itself into a state of almost loathing him when he walked through the door.  i'm not proud of this, i just didn't know how to do it any differently.

through a story involving my kids, i wrote last year about what healthy boundaries look like, for me.  i didn't know healthy boundaries yet at the group home.  i had truly believed that if i was good to the teenagers, and loved them, they would return that with love and kindness toward me.  they would change, and blossom, and understand.  and know that through my love and ben's, we were projecting the love from God.  and when it didn't happen, i felt like i had done something wrong and was being punished for some reason, and closed up.  

i know now how i could have taken better care of myself during my time in an extremely stressful situation.  a year of therapy has taught me that. 

i'm still not convinced that i would want to go back and do it all over again.  i definitely wouldn't do it if i had to bring my own kids into it.  

but if it were just ben & i?  and i'm lynsey, 2011?  

i don't know....maybe.  i know that the year at the group home forever changed me.  as a mother, as a wife, as an individual.  as someone who has the potential to be able to become a mirror to hold up to another who is broken to reflect God's love for them, whether they choose to see it or not.

but i have also learned that i am someone who needs a peaceful living environment.  there is happy chaos, which i can do, and there is angry chaos.  the angry chaos is something that at least right now, i cannot sign up for.  but to not actually live there?  to be able to clock in & out?  return to my own sanctuary?  i'd consider it.

i think of these kids often....the 10 year old girl who screamed that i was raping her in hopes that someone walking by our home would call the police on me. that same girl only a mere 4 hours later, hugging me tightly, apologizing as tears streamed down both of our faces while we said temporary good-byes through the glass on the 4th floor, the psychiatric unit of the hospital.

the unintentionally hilarious 15 year old boy with the desire to excel, whose autism and intelligence was a gift to our home, with the long unkempt hair, the grey sweatpants he refused to change.  he was so easy to be around, so likeable.  and when we got through his unemotional exterior, and he expressed his love for us, i felt like i had been handed one of God's greatest gifts.

the 12 year old boy with the big brown eyes that could melt your heart, even as you watched him light cigarettes on the burners of the stove in the kitchen and blow smoke in your face.  who ran away after only a month and a half, having friends in all the wrong places who hid him for months.

the 11 year old, whose past i only knew fragments and pieces of.  his thin frame, his enormous eyes missing the eyelashes he had pulled out.  he was the one that all of the employees worried most for, the boy who could unsettle my insides with just his gaze.  the one we feared would end up on america's most wanted someday, with a rage inside of him that startled and disturbed even the most seasoned psychiatrist.

our other 15 year old, with almost no impulse control, bringing a 6-inch blade to school, climbing up to sit on top of the roof of the house, throwing the barbecue grill off of the back porch.  the boy with the purest heart, who brought us all to tears as he announced through choking sobs that he had been saving money for ben and i for months, with the intention to give it to us so we could afford to buy a house of our own, so we would stay in north carolina after our year contract was up.

and the 16 year old, with his freckles and chewed off fingernails, and his furious blinking as he stood statue-still, flipping me off with both hands.  who left the home with his head hung low, those same hands handcuffed behind his back, never to return. that same freckled boy, whose pants accidentally came off when he had to crawl under the porch of the house to retrieve an escaped baseball, and we laughed with him for 20 minutes straight.

2 weeks after he left the home, he called us, and apologized.  and my heart knew what to do, even after i thought it had shut down, even after of the chaos and damage he had incurred, the holes in the walls, the shattered dishes on the floor, the drops of blood slowly dripping down his arms....even with all of that, my heart opened back up, and loved him.

they haunt me, these memories.  in an achingly hardbutgood way.  now that i am through that year, and have evolved to be able to only give pieces of my heart, i can easily love each of them, being able to pull myself apart from those oftentimes traumatic days and exhausting nights, knowing deep down now that they were not about me. and i know that what we had in that one year is an experience that i could never put into actual words.

i wish that i had been the person there that i am now, but i can't live in reverse.  and it was a stepping stone to getting here, to lynsey 2011.

the things that i learned, the ways that i changed.  after that year, i will never be the same.

*name changed to protect the innocent

***i've been working on the "fear cycle" and have learned so much about anxiety and control and surrendering.  i'm thinking i might write about that one next.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

on purposeful inconsideration.

thanks, google images.

on my way to seattle, the plane ride was semi-uneventful, but there was a small incident that i'm still thinking about.  

i had started out the weekend with a head cold and was pretty miserable during the flight, where my sinuses burned so badly that at times it brought tears to my eyes.  i tried reading the book i had borrowed, "the glass castle," but after about 5 minutes of burning sinuses, i couldn't concentrate on the words anymore, so i had to stop.

i decided to cover my mouth and nose and just watch the people on the plane.  covering my nose seemed to help for some reason.  i'm really curious about other people, i like to watch them and try to imagine what their lives are like.  might sound boring to some, but it's interesting to me.

there was the hairless-armed man who was the closest to me, with only an empty chair between us.  i probably wouldn't have noticed his hair-free arms except that he was also a germaphobe and anti-bacterialized himself a good 13-15 times during our 3 hour flight.  i couldn't help but notice his routine.  he would pull out one of the airline brochures from the back of the seat in front of him, flip through it quickly, put it back, then anti-bacterialize himself.  then pull out another, flip through it, put it back, anti-bacterialize.  

repeat, repeat, repeat.

i watched him do this little pattern, drawing attention to his hands and arms, when i noticed that his arms were smoother than my little leah's.  they were completely hair-free.  i know there are people who do this, even men who do this.  for some reason though, it took me a little off-guard.  i assumed that his need to be germ-free and arm hair-free probably coincided.  and i'm not going to lie, i was kind of tempted to ask him to roll up his pants so i could see if his legs were hair-free too.  don't worry, i didn't ask him.  but the thought crossed my mind.

once he was finished with each of the brochures, he settled down a little bit and began to read his own book, which apparently he is comfortable with his own germs because he put the hand-sanitizer away.

i have to say, i took a little comfort in knowing that he has bigger germ issues than even i do.  and that's something.  it's always nice to know there's someone more intense about things than you are, walking around out there, isn't it?

so anyway, my attention diverted to the row of guys diagonally to the right of me.  sitting with their ipods in, playing games on their phones.  kind of boring.

but then, a blonde stewardess came along to ask them what they wanted to drink.  i heard them say, "cranberry juice, diet coke, ginger ale" and i remember thinking that cranberry juice was an interesting choice for a mid-twenties guy to want to drink on a plane, when the stewardess asked me what i would like.  

she took about 20 orders, then went to the back of the plane to get the drinks ready.

about 2 minutes later, a brunette stewardess showed up at the same row of guys to ask them what they wanted to drink.  i assumed they'd tell her that their drink order had already been taken, but instead they said the same thing, "cranberry juice, diet coke, ginger ale" without hesitating for a second.  the thought actually crossed my mind that they might be slow enough to not realize that they were going to get two separate drinks.

she turned to me to ask me what i wanted, so  i let the brunette stewardess know that my drink order had already been taken, and wanted to point that the 3 guys' orders also had, but i hesitated.  i wanted to see if it was an honest mistake, or what they would say to the stewardess who showed up with the second set of drinks.

well, the brunette stewardess {the one who asked them for their drink order second} showed up first.  they took the drinks, put their earplugs back in their ears, and resumed playing phone games.

a few minutes later, the blonde stewardess showed up, her arms full of two trays of drinks.  she stopped at the row with the 3 guys first.  they all had their heads bent, looking like they didn't see her.  i watched the confusion on her face, then watched her mentally count up the rows to double-check herself, then look down at their drinks again.  finally she shrugged, and walked over to me to give me my drink.

as she handed me my ginger ale, i saw it from the corner of my eye.  the 3 guys looked over at her and busted out laughing.  she didn't notice, but i did.  the whole thing had been on purpose, and even though it was a small thing, it bothered me.

these guys were in their mid-to-high-20's, waaaay past the age where i would have actually expected this sort of thing.  

again, i know that in the grand scheme of life, this doesn't even come close to a big deal.  but i found myself wanting to ask them why they wanted to make things harder on this flight attendant than they needed to be.  why didn't they just do the right thing and tell the brunette stewardess that their drink order had already been taken?  or at the very least, when the blonde one came with the second set of drinks, acknowledge her and apologize for the extra work she'd done?

i stewed about it for a few minutes.

i don't understand purposeful unkindness, and inconsideration for others.  if you're ignorant and doing it, that's one thing.  but i don't understand being unkind just to get a good laugh with your friends.

i became defensive of her, that blonde flight attendant, because i think i saw myself in her.

i remember being a waitress off and on for about 4 years.  and i remembered serving guys just like these, the ones who get their order and act like they're unhappy about it just to get free food. or you hear them snicker as you walk away with their plate in hand because they've requested to have the pickles on their hamburger hand-grilled by the chef.  {true story}  and you do it, as their waitress, not only because you are working for $2.25 an hour and really, really need their tips, but also because if that really is the way they like their pickles, then you want them to be happy.

even those who i would serve food to, that acted like i was a piece of nothing, and tipped me change from their pocket when i had worked so hard and everything had been just as they had asked.

i know that the people who act this way are usually like this either because they were raised by parents just like them and truly don't know any better, or because they're unhappy with themselves. 

but it's hard not to take it personally sometimes, or at the very least be annoyed with the fact that they're letting out their issues to make your life harder.

there are a lot of things about the history of humans that disturbs me.  that anyone would intentionally hurt or be unkind another human being is hard for me to wrap my brain around.  i have "do unto others as you would have them to do unto you" ingrained in my being.  and i feel this way about the small things, like tipping well for food service, or letting someone get in front of you during a traffic jam even when you're late, and like this drink order thing was.

well, after that little incident i tried to get back to my burning sinuses and book.  "the glass castle" is about the resiliency of the human spirit in really awful conditions.  and as i read i realized that this is what life is really about.  not that i've had an awful life, especially compared to the children in that book, but more that in life there are instigators and reactors....and i think much of my life has been spent being a reactor to negative instigators.  letting others' unkind actions hurt me, or even affect me.

i am learning to let these things go, to not take someone else's issues upon myself while still being myself, and not becoming callous.  and some times it's easier than others.  but no matter what, there will always be jerks on the airplane, or road rage in the traffic jam, or business men who are too enveloped in their own lives to tip a poor college student waitress a measly 10-15%. 


but, there will also always be the blonde flight attendant letting the immaturity of 3 guys go without making a big deal of it, or the nice guy letting people edge their cars in front of his even though he's already let about 5 cars in front of him, or the random family that not only tips well at a restaurant, but then takes the time to fill out a complimentary card about how great their watiress was to them.  

and then the short, tired waitress with dimples gets to stand in the back room by the pies and read their kind words, and smile because this one note made the rest of the unkind people worth it.