Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very souls.

Say what you mean
Mean what you say
Say what you mean
Mean what you say
Think about the words
That you're using
Speak for yourself
Say what's on your mind
Think about the life
That you're choosing
Whenever you need somebody
Whenever you're looking
For somebody who knows
When trouble won't leave you alone---Lyrics from Moody Blues, Key of the Kingdom Album

Say what you mean, mean what you say, be honest, have integrity, talk to me, explain to me, inform me, communicate with me, discuss. Anyone in the human race spends some time each week being frustrated with the communication does not work out right. If you want to really want to get your panties in a bunch, try talking with a teenager who is hell bent on getting what they want by purposely misunderstanding you. Or better yet, is when they want to claim innocence by omitting certain facts.

This communication problem will be a life long battle with Wild Child I am sure. I don’t know if he’s simply destined for a stellar career in politics or as a school administrator, but most days I lose part of sanity just trying to know where he is going , with whom and for what purpose. I really only get details when he needs me as a chauffeur in the cop car. And even then, the sin of omission most often comes into play when I pick him up to bring him home. Maybe he didn’t call and tell me when to get him, or maybe I arrive and find out I am driving 3 other boys home. Or better yet, I am picking him up. 2 friends are with him, and oh by the way, they are sleeping over. Or maybe the fun I had the other day, when I come from a day at the beach expecting to relax and take a shower, only to find a note “Dad, have Mom pick me up at 520 or 6. She knows all about it.” What she knows is that she told you, no, she would not drive you to and from Lockport for a skating event. Find a ride. Well, he found one all right. Me.

Part of me constantly wants to scream while the other part simply wants to run away to a chateau in France and come back when the kids are 25. “I just want the Brady family” I screamed to my friend, Miss Virginia last night, as I was letting Wild Child receive an attitude adjustment while I calmly walked up and down and up and down the driveway. “Grow up,” Miss Virgina screamed into the phone as I called her again, ranting. “Stop being Catholic girl, no one has the f*$!in’ Brady family! Even Carol was pulling her hair out because Marcia and Greg were doing each other! Everyone has problems, everyone has fights, and everyone gets over them. Just call the police if you can’t take it anymore and I guarantee Wild Child will calm down.”

No, I didn’t call the police. I didn’t even call Miss Manners to complain that my son makes plans with people and doesn’t call to cancel when he can’t go, leaving the family to have to deal with the phone calls as his friends wonder what happened….again. No, I just chock it up to the experience of raising a male. I figure these top notch skills sure to come in handy at work. When the cow excrement gets too deep there, and I can’t send my boss to his room for exiling me to Siberia, I can just picture the Brady family, and try to imagine which child is going to beat the other one up over the toy in the backyard.

See the thing with teenage communication is how you use your coping skills. It’s the same at work. Just imagine a really big crane coming over their head and taking them away. The smile on your lips says it all.

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