Sanity money/ Inspirational parenting/ Reaching out

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After a balanced, peaceful day yesterday, today felt off kilter. Up early with a crying baby. Trying to do too much. Grumpy. The collision between expectations and time.

By 8:30 a.m. today I had played with baby, fed her breakfast & cleaned up, made granola and a loaf of bread and other chores. I wish I had slowed down and let myself enjoy the time more. The day raced past after that, though I did get in a short nap (yay, one weekend goal partly fulfilled!). I also made lunch, shredded zucchini for freezing, and tried to make other food, fortunately not succeeding. I think that somewhere inside, I also was not looking forward to the end of my break and the pace of another week.

So as dinner approached, I had had it. Husband was continuing work around the house, mainly on the fence today. I had had it with food prep but needed to eat soon. After some persuading I was sold. I don’t like spending the money if I don’t have to, but feeling burnt out and over-extended was a good enough reason tonight. Baby & I walked down to city park via a burger shop (veg burger & fries – nothing like fried food to get my figure back!). We spread out and ate together, baby taking off for crawls and pointing at passing people. After a long walk home I felt much better, particularly as husband did a big clean-up of the kitchen and the front porch. Thank you!!

We both hope to get it together better soon to have more food ready to go regularly here, but until then, I’m trying to accept eating out as an occasional route to sanity.

***

While out for a walk the other day I came across an example of parenting in absentia that left me shaking my head in awe. I was pushing baby in a stroller when I noticed a young boy, maybe 11 or 12, passing us while holding a skateboard. He looked into the stroller as he passed and with a big smile, said “Aww, what a cute baby!” “Thank you!” I replied with a corresponding smile. He kept walking until he was a good 10 feet in front of us, then put the board down to continue skateboarding.

I mean, how perfect can you get? Interacting voluntarily with an adult. Providing an appropriate and supportive comment. Being positive and social. And having the incredible consideration to walk, not board, past a mother on the sidewalk. I hope I can impart a similar level of consideration to my children.

***

On the darker side, my husband helped us try to reach out to someone today. I have no idea if it did any good.

We live next door to a church and it’s often a site for people to meet or wait when they don’t have somewhere else to go. Today he saw a young girl sleeping in the stairwell beside our fence. He asked how she was doing a couple of times but she wasn’t coherent and didn’t seem to want any help. What help to give, how, when … these are questions he thinks about a lot. By lunchtime she was still there and he suggested we bring her some food. I brought over some water, bread & butter, fruit. She didn’t respond when I tried to talk with her.

After discussion we decided to call an ambulance. She was unresponsive, appeared to be on drugs, and could be going through withdrawal, side effects, or perhaps had some other major trauma. When they came they talked to her, but she responded to them and said she didn’t need any help so they left. Later in the day she left, and waved at my husband on her way out.

It is horrifying that there are so many young people in such difficult circumstances. More than ever, now that I am a mother, I understand that each person was once someone’s baby, was once completely helpless and trusting. How have we failed so many children so completely? I wish I knew what we could do to catch all the youth who are suffering. And I feel more urgently than ever the need to work with young people to provide a positive way forward in their lives.

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