family, grandchildren, parenting

Bullying. Just Stop It

It’s been a tough year for me.  It’s taken almost a year for me to admit it. I’ve been trying to come to grips with why, how, what.  It happened out of the blue.

BULLYING.

It never really occurred to me that I could be bullied by another adult. I’m a grandma for goodness sake.  I’m strong.  I’m smart.  I’m successful.  I’m independent. I’m even nice, usually. The bullying was subtle at first.  It took me a while to realize it was happening.  Then gradually, slowly, it became less subtle.

I tried to make nice with the bully because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?   I tried to ignore it – pretend it wasn’t happening. I tried really hard.  I did everything you’d tell your child who is being bullied.  “Ignore it”  “You’re better than that” “They’re not worth it” “Don’t let it get to you”…

It was lonely.  You see the bully bullied others.  So if you (the “onlooker”) wanted to avoid being bullied, you stayed on the safe side of the bully. Pretended to be their friend.  Don’t cause any waves.  Just stay under the radar and you’ll be fine.  AND if you really wanted to stay on the safe side of the bully, for goodness sake, DO NOT stand up for the bullied (insert eye roll here).

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Which one are you?

I needed a break from the bullying so I took a break from putting myself in places where I could be bullied.  I took a break from people who in my mind cared more about staying on the good side of the bully than taking care of the bully’s bullied.  Whether that was true or not, didn’t matter because in my bullied mind it was true.  And the break helped a   lot.

I won’t even begin to compare my experience with bullying to that of a child.  There is no comparison.  And heaven help the person who EVER … I mean EVER bullies one of my littles!   I’m simply pointing out that bullying can happen with adults too.  Sometimes in the work place.  Sometimes (a lot) on social media.  And even sometimes it can happen in the places you should feel the most safe – like church.

So let’s just be nice.  There’s a lot of pain and hurt in this world.  There’s a lot of hate.  I just listened to this great podcast called Why We Hate.  I’m not saying you have to agree with every opinion out there, but if you disagree, just be nice.  Listen a little.  Ask some honest and sincere questions.  I bet you’ll find more common ground with those that you disagree with than you think.

And just don’t be a bully.

There is one thing I’ve learned over the past year.  If you continue to harbor the pain that the bully has unfairly inflicted on you, then the bully wins.  I refuse to let that happen.  So I will forgive and move on.  I’ll hold my head high.  I’ll be more aware of those that are bullied.  I’ll be more courageous and stand with them.  I’ll do my part to stop the hate and keep the peace, at least in my little corner of the world.

I hope you will tell me the ways that I can be a better advocate for the bullied and how you have been an advocate for stopping the hate. Continue reading “Bullying. Just Stop It”

family, grandchildren, parenting, Uncategorized

Adopt a Little for a Day

The littles and their momma have been visiting “the other grandma” (maternal) for a few weeks while Dad finishes up work out of state. I’m insanely jealous.

She’s an amazing grandma too. She’s got the “grandma thing” perfected. I’m jealous but I’m happy for the littles and their momma. They get to play with cousins, aunts, uncles (there are a lot of them!) and just get loved on so much. It’s all good.

So to ease my aching, missing heart we adopted a couple of littles and treated them to a fun day. I figured it was good practice. Two, seven year-old boys – how hard could it be?

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This is a picture I took just after we parked the truck – so I’d have something… just in case I lost them!! Then I gave them a firm but loving lecture on “staying close”.

We took them to the Chippewa Valley Air Show. It was a perfectly cloudy day. Not ideal for watching airplanes but ideal if your goal is avoid sun burning other people’s children.

We bought $85 worth of food/snacks/and car trip toys. But good news – under 12 gets in FREE to the air show. We spent another $75 on air show food. I mean, who doesn’t want to eat a $10 frozen pizza with a $7 Coke?

The air show was fantastic – full of high flying jets and stunts, as I had hoped. We even got treated to the Blue Angels.

Our little seven year old charges? Not quite so interested in the air show. I mean there were GRASSHOPPERS to be caught and contained.

For the record, it was MY idea to put their grasshoppers in the empty water bottles.  Just saying …

What a great and exhausting day nonetheless. I’m not sure that the littles enjoyed it as much as I did. I was hoping they’d fall asleep in the car for the 90 minute drive home. Nope. Not a wink.

As we neared home, they begged us to let them come play at our house a little longer. I said a half hearted “I wish we could …” as I dialed their parents for immediate pick up on our return.

I guess I’m not quite ready for 7 year old littles. I need to build up some grandma stamina first!

family

Dads and Grandpas – NOT Optional

Happy Father’s Day!  We try hard to give Father’s Day equal billing to Mother’s Day but we’re not that great at it.  I wonder why?

We could value our dads and grandpas a bit more.  Although, now that I think of it,  grandpas do pretty good.  They really can’t go wrong.  They are fun and cause trouble with the moms and grandmas for spoiling the littles.  But it’s okay – it’s grandpa.  We give him a little extra room to be dangerous  – and silly.

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Grandpa with the Littles – spoiling them with more treats and toys

Maybe its just me.  Maybe I could do better.  Maybe everyone else is really good at taking care of dads and grandpas on their day like we take care of moms and grandmas on their day.

My children’s father (who is actually my husband – still – after almost 32 years), is a good dad.  He’s a hard dad sometimes, in the ways dads need to be. Dads need to be the enforcer, the law.  Children should fear their dad just a little.  It’s a healthy fear – because he loves his kids.  No doubt about that.

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They all got capes – because they’re all super heroes – even dad.

Ok – call me old fashioned.  It’s okay.  Yes, I’m speaking generally.  Yes, this doesn’t apply to all dads.  I get it.  But it’s Father’s Day so here it is.  Dads are important.  Dads are necessary.  Dads are not expendable or optional.

So so so many times I have disagreed with how the dad (my husband) has parented.  So. Many.  Times.  Still, we turned out some pretty great kids and it was not all me.  They would cry to me that dad was mean or they don’t want to drive with dad or dad did this or said that. But now as adults, they go to their dad with their problems.  Not the emotional kind – I still get all of those.  But he gets the rest.  I wonder if he ever disagreed about the way I parented … hmmm.

I need him to solve the problems when I’m just done with it.  I need him to edit the resumes and maintain the cars.  I need him to stay up late and wait for that darn kid to get home because I’m too tired.  He’s the fixer.  Just like my dad was the fixer – and still is.  Just when you think there’s NO WAY it can be fixed – he makes it happen again.

So honor the dads today.  They’re not perfect.  But then again, neither are the moms.

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Proud Grandpa (my dad) greeting his grandson.
family, grandchildren, Travel

Teary Goodbyes Part II

Do you remember Teary Goodbyes from just over a year ago?  When I blogged about the littles moving away to their new home?  That was such a hard day for me.  I sobbed.  I knew they would be coming back in a year but a year seemed like a lifetime.

Well, it wasn’t a lifetime and they did come back.

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Deja vu – here we are at the airport one year later

All is well in the world once again.

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#blessed

 

Adventure, family

Come Visit us in Minnesota

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had some exciting plans in the works.  Exciting is sometimes a synonym for stressful.  It’s been a CRAZY few months.  Seriously.

I may have mentioned that we listed our house for sale.  The house we have lived in for 13 years.  Our first home in the United States (except for our 6 month rental while we built our house).

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Following that the search for a new home began in earnest.  We love being on the water on our boat.  We decided that since we have the good fortune (ha ha!) of living in Minnesota for at least another 10+ years, we want to live on the water.  First step was selling the house.IMG_1692

Thankfully it sold quickly and closed even quicker. We did some mad packing.  IMG_1752

Then moved out in May.IMG_1866

All the while, we had been searching for a new home. I knew Zillow like the back of my hand.  We saw so many houses.  I knew everything that was on the market before our realtor even did.

Then we accidentally visited a model home.  We’ve built 3 houses and both swore we would not fall prey to the new home trappings once again.  We were both committed to to finding a 1950’s lake front home.  Nothing.  Nothing. Nothing.

Two acres on the St. Croix river with a private marina, serendipitously appeared about the same time we visited the model home.  We loved the model, we loved the location, we DID NOT love the price or the work involved.

But here we are.  We now own dirt.

How could our children ever resist coming back to Minnesota now?  That’s our hope and our dream.  A place our littles will want to visit and stay for a while.  Our place our children will decide is worth the trek.  And for me, another reason to love Minnesota.

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COMING SOON – DECEMBER 2018

Here we go again … sigh.  It’ll be beautiful and perfect.

In the meantime, we are enjoying our two-bedroom, one bathroom, single car garage condo.  We can vacuum the entire place from one plug.  The simple life, it’s not so bad.

Oh, and if you’re ever in the neighborhood, we’d love your help clearing 2 acres of trees and brush.  It’ll be fun!!

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Our buddy the beaver at the new lot – helping with the build. I’m sure he could clear a few trees.

Grandmas – what crazy lengths have you gone to in order to make sure your children come home?