Sunday, February 26, 2012

Public Service Announcement

Today I want to address something very serious.  Something that plagues our nation and is showing no signs of letting up.  It is weighing very heavy on my heart these days.

Today I will talk about...wearing flip flops in the winter months.

I love flip flops. I do not love when they are called thongs, because there is another clothing item that goes by that name and TRUST me that can cause some major confusion.  I live in the Midwest.  A place where we are blessed by the presence of all four seasons.  I LOVE it.  However, the blurry line between summer and winter causes much confusion when it comes to appropriate foot wear.  We have had some unseasonably warm weather this month, so I have been subjected to some pretty nasty winter feet. (Save for the gentleman who wore socks with his flip flops...thanks dude.)

Why do I feel so strongly about this?  If you are throwing on a pair of flips in January or February...chances are you have not paid them proper attention.  I will admit, my feet look less than desirable in the winter.  Which is why I COVER THEM UP for sobbing out loud!!!  I literally gagged last year in the produce section when I caught a glimpse of a lady in flip flops. I swear her toenails were clicking on the floor and she left me in a trail of crusty dead heel skin.

So here are some guidelines.

You wake up and see that the forecast calls for a high of 60 degrees so by all means grab a pair of sandals....  UNLESS your calendar reads November, December, January or February. (Please note that I was generous and gave you October and March, but that is only if they are primed and ready.)  In that case, please...I beg of you put them back.  Throw on a pair of Chucks, Toms, Bobs or any other shoe of the closed toe variety.  (Except for Crocs...but that's a whole different blog.)

If you grab a coat, scarf, stocking cap or gloves and you are using them for keeping warm...not just looking cute, then it is NOT a flip flop day.

If you must warm up your car, no flip flops please.

If there is snow on the ground...cripes man...I feel I shouldn't even have to address that, but I've seen it with my own two eyes!  That's not even safe! Aren't people worried about frost bite??

I feel I must say that my husband often breaks these guidelines and hang my head in shame.  As we approach March, please exercise your right to manicure and exfoliate.  Thank you...and now back to your regular scheduled programming.

This Parenting Gig is Tough.

Before I got pregnant, I only thought about the "minor" parts of being a parent.  I thought about what cute maternity clothes I would wear.  Would I have a boy or girl?  Will I puke as much as Steph did during pregnancy? I dreamed about the baby's nursery.  I knew it would be tough waking up numerous times in the night. (Although, I had NO idea it would be every two hours for the first six months!)  I understood that my life would change.

I never once thought about the "major" part of being a parent.  I didn't think about what I would do if we were handed a diagnosis that will affect our child for the rest of her life. (even though I KNOW it could be so much worse) I never DREAMED they would know and understand cancer at the tender ages of 6 and 4.  I never imagined I would watch them climb in the limo with my parents and the Phillips family to follow Steph's casket to her final resting place.

That was, hopefully, the hardest thing we will have to do for a while.  But now, here I am, in the middle somewhere. The place where other kids don't see how their actions and words hurt others.  A place where I know she will be fine...but wonder if I can take it myself.

Claire told me yesterday that a girl in her class (we will call her Gretchen) said to another girl, "Don't sit by her...I don't like her." And pointed to Claire.


I swallowed the giant lump in my throat and did some deep breathing techniques.  I said something along the lines of, "Oh Claire, I am so sorry she said that.  She obviously didn't listen very well when your teacher was talking about using only kind words. If you would like I will talk with your teacher and make her aware of this.  I want YOU to know that you are amazing and it is her loss if she can't see that.  By talking that way, it will probably make it hard for her to keep friends."

What I wanted to say....

"Well Gretchen is an idiot."

I want Claire to understand what I learned 2 years ago.  They can't hurt you if you don't let them.  You are stronger than that.  You have already done the tough stuff.  You are tougher than that.  That behavior is ugly.  You are beautiful inside and out.  

And if that doesn't work, maybe we will take Cohen's advice that he offered as he listened to us talk.  "Claire, you just need to tell Daddy which kid it is and he will go up to your school and whoop 'em."

I'm sure in  a few days I will be able to step back and have sympathy for Gretchen.  Maybe she doesn't have someone to love her and make her feel strong and confident.  Maybe she has gone through tough stuff too and doesn't have people around her to build her back up.  But for right now, the gloves are off and I'm fighting mad.  For now....Gretchen is an idiot.