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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Finding Deeper Meaning

It has been entirely too long since I have written anything of substance here on Living and Loving Every Minute of It.  Finding myself spread way too thin these days, I struggle to even take the time to throw a few photos up on the old blog.  I have missed my old style of blogging, and hope that soon I can take the time I need to continue to share my more intimate thoughts on life and all it's treasures.

Earlier tonight, as I snuggled on the couch with The Hubby, I experienced a moment of great emotion.  While watching a very simple, and some would say, silly Christmas movie, I found the deeper meaning so much more than my tender heart could handle.  As I sat in a puddle of tears, and my body shook with sobs of heartache, I felt compelled to write a little something about it.

Fred Claus, on the surface is not an exceptional movie.  In fact, I had heard less than nothing about it.  I simply enjoy Christmas movies, so I randomly placed it in my Netflix queue.  I had not a single expectation for this movie to live up to.  I just hoped to be filled with some Holiday joy, and to have a few giggles.  I was not disappointed in the least.  I found the movie to have a few really humorous moments, and at one point, I actually wanted to get up and dance.  It wasn't until the last 15 or 20 minutes that it became apparent the message was much deeper than anyone would expect, and yet I am fairly certain it wouldn't have affected everyone as it did me.

A unique combination, of my line of work, recent intensive trainings on the methods used by Child Molesters, today's trip to several stores where worn out parents were shopping, and this very movie was enough to bring home a hard reality.  As I sat there watching a fun holiday movie in my cozy little home, snuggled up to my husband, with a very happy and secure nearly four year old visiting her grandparents, countless children were suffering.  Hungry, hurt, scared, broken, and confused.  Feeling misunderstood, and unloved.  Today, as I roamed the aisles of crowded stores, I heard adults talking to children in ways that hurt my heart.  Often when parents admit to saying and doing horrible things to their children, we try to reassure them that it is "okay" and "we can't be perfect parent's all the time."  We find ways to explain away some pretty harsh reality.  I have written about this before, and I stand by that post.  I simply can not imagine being treated the way a large portion of children are treated every single day.  I don't know about you, but if I had a person 2-3 times bigger than me yelling, and using threats against me, I'd be frightened out of my mind.  In the movie, Fred Claus, the main character is the older brother of Santa Claus.  His whole life has been led in the shadow of this saintly brother.  Simple, yet completely esteem shattering things were said to him by his mother throughout his life.  Things I have heard many a parent say.....things that only end in heartache.  Often adults speak without thinking, and there are disastrous consequences.  

Tonight's movie also made a simple statement that brought a devastating reality to the forefront of my mind.  In a particular scene, Fred Claus was explaining to Santa how he just didn't understand the whole "naughty and nice" list, and that maybe one should consider that the "naughty" children might just be children that live some pretty tough lives, and have been hurt, abandoned, neglected, and misunderstood.  Don't ALL children deserve a present, and the HOPE it brings?  Without that, might we just be perpetuating the "naughty" behavior?  With that simple statement, I was reduced in soul wrenching sobs.  The fact is, while my little Sugar Bear will wake up on Christmas morning to an abundance of not only gifts, but unconditional love, and true admiration for all that she is, many, many, many children will not.   It isn't like I didn't know this before is just that I didn't choose to really KNOW really ACKNOWLEDGE really OWN it.  I often live my life as if in a bubble.  A rose colored bubble, where all children have parents who are smitten with them, and are cognizant of the tender little life that has been placed in their hands.  I choose not to DWELL on the pretend I don't see it when I am out in the community.  

Tonight, I find it unacceptable to live in my little "la la land", and not do my part to make a difference.  Tonight I pray for the tired mommys and daddys of the world, hoping to give them the strength to be kind and gentle with their loved ones.  I am praying for the over burdened, and under appreciated stay-at-home parents to take care of themselves, so they may treat their children with the love and respect they deserve.  I am praying for the working parents who struggle to spend quality time with their families.  I am praying for the children of the world to be resilient, and survivors.  

Lastly, I urge those reading this to consider raising your children by the Golden Rule......treat them as you would wish to be treated.  The theory is simple, the task is monumental, but our children are worth it.

11 Live It or Love It:

Charlotte (Life's a Charm!) said...

this is a really thought provoking post. i have seen the movie and found that the last minutes of the movie did have good message to convey and lessons to be learned both for children and for parents.

may those who read this post learn from this.

Michele said...

I cried when I read this. I was one of those children.
Thank you for writing this post.

Michelle said...

Now you've got me in a puddle of tears! I have been a bit overly stressed right now with this upcoming move/Joe's deployment etc and admit to being snapish/short with Kayla, and even yelling. When it's time to get ready in the morning and get off to school she refuses to stop what she's doing and get dressed. I ask her "please come over here and get dressed" and she tells me "no" over and over...I snapped on Fri morning and really yelled at her for that, which of course led to her crying, and me trying not to. After she calmed down I asked if she wanted a hug, she said yes, I hugged her and she said "sorry." I know being stressed isn't an excuse...and you're right - I really need to stop and think and realize I would most certainly NOT appreciate someone yelling at me either (and I never liked it when my own stepmom did it!)

Corey~living and loving said...

Stress is definately a big trigger for us parents. I really get that. You did the right thing though. You apologized. so many adults do not say they are sorry to children. When I do something that isn't really appropriate I always apologize, and explain why I did it. I then try to remember for next time, so stop, and say, in as calm of voice as I can muster, "mommy is getting really frustrated, and is starting to feel angry inside. Can we work together to make mommy's frustrations go away?" Usually Sugar will hear me, and we will get the job done. Then I thank her for helping keep my angry feelings away.

Corey~living and loving said...

My dear Michele of Rocky Mountain, I was thinking of you last night as I wrote this. The image of you and your sister is burned into my soul, never to be forgotten...You changed my life with your story. Much love to you!

Anonymous said...

Such an important thing to remember. It's a daily (sometimes hourly even) decision we have to make as parents to treat our children with love and honor. I know I've had bad moments and days. But I dust myself off, say my apologies and get on with it again. Hopefully, The Bean will see my heart for her despite the mistakes I make.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Corey that was so beautiful. I just popped in to say hi and that I will catch up soon and you made me cry. Big hugs my lovely. You are a inspiration.

jennwa said...

That is a great post. Thanks for sharing. I do not have anything to add because you said it so well.

Maude Lynn said...

Beautiful, Corey!

Tabitha Blue said...

This is such a touching and heart softening post. I feel that way about my girl too, and don't always think about the other kids out in the world that don't have that love in their homes... it's a hard thing to think about, but needs to be brought up. Thank you!! You've brought tears to my eyes too. This is so wonderful, Corey... and your follow up comments are just as good. It's true, parents have to be just as ready to apologize... or even more so. We're the adult, the example, the teacher with our behavior.


Rose said...


Wow, you couldn't have expressed it any better. Now I want to see the movie. I too, have heard so many painful exchanges between parent and small child. (Not always an exchange really) And like any parent, [but more so like the parent with no patience] I have my moments of losing it. That breaks my heart EVERY time. And I do apologize to Harrison and tell him my behavior at that time was not okay. I also try to get a jump on it by telling him I am getting frustrated and I need his help by listening and doing my words. People have been impressed at how well spoken he is about his own feelings; he will say "I'm getting frustrated" or " I need some alone time!" or "I'm feeling angry." and it helps us.

We also talk about children we see on TV misbehaving or adults that make wrong choices and now he says "they need a mommy." So often it's true. Those situations always hurt my heart before but since I have a child I feel it so much deeper now.

I'm going to pray.

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