Tuesday, December 25, 2012


So this is going to be a vent session... and hopefully a lesson will emerge. Otherwise, at least I won't have a heart attack from the rage!

This is the Holiday Season. This means that people are supposed to reflect on and appreciate what they have. And maybe just maybe give to others. Now what you're supposed to give is any number of things... help, presents, money, friendship, love, etc. You are not supposed to give other people crap!

I understand that what I do for a living isn't important. It's not even something I enjoy doing, but it's a job. I understand that some of the people in my life have jobs that are important - police officer, teacher - and that's wonderful. They can give back to the community every day.

Well let me tell you something... my job may not be important but my career is! My career is being a mom. My career is being here for my sons and taking care of them. Making sure they are safe, loved and know that their mother is here for them.

I had an important job once. A job that saved lives. I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher.  I loved that job. I could have retired at that job. However, I had to make a choice. Family or job. This is a choice a lot of women have to make. Some choose not to have a family. Some choose both. In my case I couldn't stay at the dispatch center and have a family. I never saw my husband - he worked days with weekends off and I worked graves with weekdays off. Not seeing him makes it pretty hard to have kids.

So I made the choice to leave a job that was "important" for one that certainly wasn't. But my job gave me the opportunity to have the two wonderful boys I have now and begin the career of being their mother.

Does that mean that what I do every day is less important then the rest of my family? Does that mean because I left a job that was important I am less important in the lives of my family? Sometimes I feel that's exactly what that means.

You see, maybe I shouldn't have been hurt by this, but I was. Someone posted on Facebook about how they received a tree for free for Christmas (in honor of the 26 kids in Connecticut). They went on to say how and I quote "one of my kids is a first responder, one is helping buddies put a roof on the house of a family in need and we have an elementary school teacher in the family. You get the picture."

Now there are four kids in the family and only three are mentioned. What does that say to the one left out? It tells me what I do isn't important. What I do in respect to this world is unimportant. That angers me. What I do is teach my boys whats important in life. I teach them to respect others, to care about others and to give to others when we can in any way we can.

I don't advertise when I do something for other people. It's not about the recognition. It's not about the thank yous or the kudos or the job well done. It's about teaching my children right and wrong. Teaching them to be caring individuals. But I will give you an example of what I taught them this year.

This year we donated toys to the children's pediatric unit at our local hospital. I took both boys down to the store and they got to pick out several toys they thought would be fun. We then went down and donated them. We left them at the Bank that was collecting them. The boys had fun. I had fun. It was an important lesson for them to learn. There were no kudos, props or adda boys. It is because I only work part time and can spend the rest of my time with them, that I am able to teach them these kinds of lessons.

Isn't that what this season is all about?

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Season of Giving

I have recently been confronted by my brother about the amount of "stuff" we give each other.  And by each other he means all of us (mom, dad, hubby, K, C, bro, his fiance, etc.).  He thinks that we should donate the money we would spend on "stuff".  That instead of buying for ourselves we should give the money to a good cause like Susan G. Komen or Dive For a Cure or even our local humane society or animal shelter.  I think these are all great ideas. In fact we donate to CASA every year and I'm more then happy to do that.

And while I understand his point, do we really need more stuff? I have a different point...

I don't CARE!  I love Christmas. I love giving gifts to my family. I love looking for the perfect gifts for my husband and kids. The perfect gifts for my parents and brother. I LOVE it.  I like to go shopping looking for the perfect gifts that I know they will love.  It has nothing to do with reciprocation. It has to with my joy at going out and doing that. The hunt for the perfect gifts. I also will not deprive my children of a joyful holiday.

And please note I did say gifts.  I don't give just one. I can't. This time of year is about me being able to spread joy and happiness to those around me. I find things for people and I only get to do this once a year.  I'm going to enjoy it.

Of course, as I type this I realize I may sound superficial. I mean after all who needs all those "things". But I donate old things that I don't use or wear to St. Vincent de Paul.  I have a rule in my house. If I get a new t-shirt, an old one gets put in the PJ drawer and one of those goes to the donation pile. I try and do the same with the boys toys.

I am going to start something new this year. I'm going to take the boys and buy gifts from the Giving Tree. I want them to experience buying gifts for others. Knowing that by giving these gifts they are giving someone who's in need and may not get a gift otherwise.  I'm excited for this new tradition to start in our family.

I guess my point is this.  Now while I understand and support his point, it's not for me.  I will still donate money to any number of charities, but I will not stop buying presents for my family. The Christmas season is about giving and that's exactly what I love about it!