Today is Veteran’s Day, a day of gratefulness for all those who signed on to protect our country and help build it better and safer. Today I am grateful for my grandparents and my cousins, my uncles and my sister… and a lot more. I am grateful they gifted, and yes they gifted it, their time and youth and stories to take care of us in many different times. Their gift of taking a potentially deadly job with much less pay and very difficult conditions, high expectations and missing much of their normal family time has protected a country that I love being a part of. So many of us don’t even know how good we have it… great schools, refrigerators full of food, hospitals around the corner, churches we don’t have to be scared to attend, parks to play in and homes to snuggle into at night. We do have it good… Thank you Veterans for doing hard things for us ❤
This week these elections have brought out the WORST in so many people. It is a terrible site to see and try to explain it to my girls. I have read articles and seen news of protests that were really riots, and colleges that cancelled school for a day and bought their students pizza for them to grieve. I see this and it scares me. I feel that our times lack respect and accountability, they lack people who can’t handle loss and use their voice to spout hate.
We are creating people who can’t do hard things. It’s hard to not get the president you want, I know. It’s hard to not win every game or election… it is hard. Life is freaking hard. It is exceptionally difficult and painful and heavy and sometimes terrible. Life is an uphill battle with lots of extra difficult challenges piled on. We need to be able to do hard things, really hard things. We need to be grownups who can do hard things, but we aren’t making that kind. Why not?
It isn’t our job to make it easier for our kids to do everything, to make the path smooth and challenge-free. Life doesn’t stay easy after we make it easy… we need to have the tools to get through it, over it, under it. We get those tools by living and seeing that we can do hard things. We don’t need college students who wake up mad that their candidate didn’t win and don’t go to class and learn and get better. We don’t need those kind of adults. I know some of you are going to tell me that we need to grieve, I get it, I have a firm handle on grief. Grief is one of those hard things, and in this case grieve and do your job. If that is college, do your job. If that is parenting, do your job. If that is teaching, do your job. If you are sad or mad about the outcome- go out with hope for success and build your part of this world better. It is a hard thing to do, to get up and move and live when you are sad about an outcome. Always remember we can do hard things.
Stop making life easy for our kids and students, life isn’t easy and it would be so boring if it were (think Mr. Rogers ‘If we were all the same’). Start giving our kids the tools they need to do hard things, to maneuver this world and their story the way they want. It is hard to not make it easy, but I assure you it will be worth it. Imagine what it felt like for our parents to see us do hard things, but then fast forward to my mom seeing me stay afloat when my daughter died and my marriage fell apart. I am sure she felt pride that she did a good job building me to do hard things. I don’t know why we as parents, in this generation want to make it smooth… stand strong and build better.
I hope to feel that pride in my parenting when my girls grow, when they take on parenting and I see them do hard things and build great people who can do hard things. I know it hurts to see my children fail or maneuver rocky paths, paths that I could smooth for them, but instead I stand back and offer tools, sometimes I cry because it hurts to see them hurt, but I keep doing my job- my part in building better people who can do hard things.