This afternoon I actually for a change had all three of my parasites (again children for those sweeter than me) in the same room. Now that they are getting older it happens ever so less frequently. One is usually hiding in their room doing God knows what (he’s a teenage boy and there are days I’m afraid to ask- yes I know he can wash it as long and he wants). Another is in their room sleeping (teenage girls seem to need an inordinate amount of sleep or maybe she’s faking so I will go away- you know mom’s are annoying) and the youngest is outside blowing something up (making mama yell “What the HELL was that!!” seems to be a preteen boy skill). This afternoon however; they were all in the room.
I decided it was time to talk (yes I know I was asking for trouble, but sometimes ya just gotta go for it) My first question was easy. “How was school?” The eldest said the standard teenage boy answer “fine” The middle said “Just another standardized test day” and the baby- well the baby said “We had tests so it was yucky” Hey he’s a boy so it was more words than fine which made me happy.
My next question was “What did you learn today?” The eldest said “teenage girls require too much money and attention” (I thought about probing that one, but as his mama this assessment might end up being easier for me so I let it go) The middle darling said “there seems to be a lot of girls confused about their sexuality in my school” (saving the rest of that conversation for a whole separate blog” The youngest parasite said “I love my new substitute teacher- she’s cool” (he’s a simple child)
Now since we were still talking an no one had run away I decided I would ask something a little more difficult. My next question was “What impact on someones life did you make today?”
This question actually took my normally quick witted and clever parasites off guard. Usually my quick witted little smart-ass’s make me regret asking questions of such magnitude because they say things that scare me. This made me even more scared. When the youngest thinks I can actually see the wheels turning in his brain and most of the time they make me cringe, because they turn waaaaay too much like mine. I did get a few smart-alack responses such as “My fart didn’t stink the bathroom up and run anyone out” but in general I just got confused looks. Maybe I should ask them these things more often, but hey I can’t get them in the same room that much.
Finally one said “mama what do you mean?” my answer was cryptic “Did you smile at anyone who looked sad today? Did you help anyone who looked weak today? Did you say hi to anyone who looked lonely?”
They started to look at me with those teenage eyes that say “wow you’re old and stupid and don’t even know it- do you mama?”
I asked again- “well what was it?” and none could answer so I gave them a task for the rest of the week They are to watch and smile at anyone who looked sad even if they were rude to them and help anyone who looked weaker than them even if they didn’t ask and say hello to anyone who looked alone even if they rolled their eyes.
Now they are just teenagers so now they realize mama is trying to teach so they immediately tried to leave the room and I said “Not so fast my babies” Let me tell you a story.
Here it is:
“I was a self absorbed teenager just like you!! Twenty years later I was somewhere and someone walked up to me and told me a story about one night I has been kind to her because she was upset and when I asked why and she didn’t want to tell me I never asked any further and just sat with her even though we weren’t close (I am sad to say I didn’t even remember the night) She told me she had come there intentionally to tell me thank you because she was raped that night and anytime after that she had thought people weren’t kind she thought of that night and that I had been kind to her” The night I found this out I cried myself to sleep because I didn’t remember. How could I forget something that was clearly that important to someone else’s life?
I informed the parasites that sometimes now I wish I didn’t know that story because it is so much easier to be self absorbed. It is easier to live life thinking that anything you do doesn’t have an impact on anyone other than yourself. When you find out it really does it changes you. If I could help someone that much unintentionally who had I hurt unintentionally? I’m a believer in duality so if I helped someone I probably hurt someone that much too and that makes me sad!
So after my little lesson and six little rolled eyes I still gave them their assignment for the week. Tell me three people you helped and three people you hurt this week. My prayer is they are like me and the REAL one’s they don’t remember either.