Tuesday, February 23

You're doing better than you think.

Just had one of those mornings with the kids, particularly the youngest, who turns 6 this Friday and has decided that any and all behavior problems I identify as belonging to HER are actually and completely the entire fault of her 11-year-old brother.



So I go and look up behavior charts that I might use with her, since they work so well for her at school.

There are charts for

"I didn't bite anyone today" and

"I slept in my own bed without wetting."

Okay. So I'm doing better than I think,and so is my 6 year old.

So then I think I'm going to have a morning alternating between sulking-due-to-single-parenthood-burnout and housecleaning, and the phone rings.

I had volunteered to drive a large shipment of newborn baby supplies to a local distribution center for transport to Haiti. They were ready for the mom van to take it over.

And I thought of those new mothers. And the conditions they woke up in this morning.

I don't like our generation's habit of thinking "there are people in the world worse off than me." It leads us to accept less than we're worth in relationships, jobs, and governments.

But saying to ourselves "I am going to help someone worse off than I am AND insist on my own worth to the world." is a terrific affirmation, one that I forget.

The distribution center (where I dropped off 191 pounds of toothpaste, soap, diapers, newborn shirts, and washcloths) had a poster on the wall: "You may be one person to the world, but you may be the world to one person."

I hope I made a difference today. I know I made an effort.


  1. that is a great way to think about things without settling for less than your worth. i have to try to remember that.

    i'll try.

  2. Sending you a ten minute digital hug, Fran. remember you can re-use them whenever you want.

  3. Geoff2:14 PM

    We all need to remember to be who we are and how worthy we are, and, as you observed, that we are not alone in the world. Your single mom gig is really you at the center of three kids' wheel. As they grow and become their own independent selves, they will have the benefit of a loving, self-directed Mom who told them they belonged on the planet and gave them the skills to thrive here.

  4. Perspective is always a good idea.

    Loudon puts it well here:
    Pretty Good Day So Far

  5. This is so apropos to the kind of day I had. You did a good thing. In many ways, you were the world to all kinds of people.

  6. There's an old Doonesbury cartoon with an Asian family (BD in Vietnam story line or Duke in China? I don't remember) eating dinner, the kid is complaining about eating his vegetables, and the parent is telling them to eat their vegetables and be thankful because there are starving kids in West Virginia.

  7. What a lovely sentiment.
    You made my day.

  8. I always told my daughters "I'm just giving you stuff to talk about to your therapist." And now they're adults and actually like me! It all works out. . .

  9. I'm getting to be such an old softie that I cried reading this.

    Really, those folks have been through an awful lot, and are far from being made whole again.

    Thanks for walking the walk, 'Gal.

  10. Neat way to approach it. And - Gasp - parenting is liberal!


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