Monthly Archives: February 2014

Keeping my “Mother Bear” in Check

mother bearYeah there are times when I get “all mother bear” and almost lose it…. if you mess with my kids I will flip out on you… Yeah as a Christian I am supposed to be “loving”… sure…but there comes a point when anger must be unleashed. My priests have said that anger is not a sin… it is what you do with it. “In your anger do not sin,” Ephesians 4:26. There is righteous anger… there are times that we need to release the flying monkeys and go off…

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Yeah I can and will flip tables if I need to, especially if my children are involved. Maybe it’s because I am a quarter Irish and I can lose my temper easily… but I know I need to control that anger. “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” Proverbs 29:11. I know I need to control it and use that energy to make a difference.

If it wasn’t for my anger I would not be the Special Education Teacher I am today. Back when my son was in second grade I was invited to his IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings to discuss how he was doing in school… and what the school needed to do to help him succeed. He was having a difficult time accessing a proper education because something was up. He could not sit still and he had sensory issues (we now know why: he is diagnosed with AD/HD, Specific Learning Disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome). At the time I had no idea what was going on in school and why I was even at the meeting. So I sat there like a blob on a log as the team rattled off strange jargon and talked about my son as if I weren’t there. I finally had had it and I raised my hand. I did the international sign for “all of this is going over my head” (swiped my hand over my head) and said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Well, what happened next I will never forget. They laughed. Yes, they did. They laughed at me and said they always forgot that the parents don’t understand the jargon. Hm. Not a good move. But, ya know what? I am glad they laughed. Because it made me angry. Very angry. Parents should not be treated like that at IEP meetings.  So I used that anger. I did something about it.

Several years later I went back to school and got my Master’s in Special Education. Yes that one meeting where they laughed at me made me angry enough to go back to school. I wanted to understand what went on in IEP meetings. I wanted to understand my child’s disabilities and help him succeed. I wanted to have valuable input in those meetings. I wanted to be valued as a knowledgeable part of the team. I wanted respect and I wanted them to know how much my child means to me. Now that I am a Special Education teacher I make sure my student’s parents feel they are part of the team and that their input is important… and they don’t feel lost and confused at the meetings.

I can say that I have gone all mother bear and released my inner flying monkeys since that meeting… I remember making the Principal and the Vice Principal of the elementary school green (seriously, they were literally green during that crazy mother bear freak out meeting)… they had suspended my son for doing something that he could not control because of his disability. Their whole “Zero Tolerance Policy” made me so angry… that I went in and flipped out on them.  Big time crazy momma. They still suspended him, but I made sure they knew that I did not agree with their policy.

Two days ago my “mother bear” in me was enraged about a school policy (middle school this time).. but I am glad I controlled that mother bear impulse to go all crazy on them. A teacher had taken his ipod away from him because he took it out in class to check the time. They took it away and kept it at the office and I had to go get it. I understand not wanting kids to text or play with electronic devices during school… but give him detention…  don’t TAKE my son’s $200 ipod from him. I am glad I waited a day to go get it. I was able to calm down, talk to a fellow Aspie mother and  realize I needed to pick my battles… this was not a good battle to show my true mother bear colors. I smiled and was nice as I picked up his ipod. BUT If someone at the school had tried to talk to me about the situation I may have gone off… just sayin… glad they didn’t… O.o

God had me use my anger… he lead me into special education and helped me help my son and other families… I am grateful where this crazy journey has brought me. I will forever protect my kid and my students (I tell them I am their parent at school… I will do all I can to help them). Being a controlled mother bear does make a difference.

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Catholic Coolness

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Yeah I’ve got the T shirt too that says that… but St Francis actually did not say those exact words… though it is attributed to him… it was an idea that he portrayed in how he lived. BEING Christ to everyone. LIVING the gospel in the secular world… And that is how I am “trying” to live… preaching the gospel with my life. But how am I doing with that? Huh.

I am TRYING…. But am I trying hard enough?

When people watch me, listen to me, read what I write do they see Jesus in me, or do they sometimes see the old, obnoxious, foul-mouthed wild woman I once was? BEING a Christian is hard work. Trying to LIVE it is at times impossible for me… being a silly human who tends to be sarcastic and wants to be right, cool and witty all the time.

About a week ago the old me reared her ugly head… at work a couple of co-workers were asking another case coordinator if it is okay to have a preposition (with) at the end of a sentence (grammar Nazi….NO of course not!)… with an evil grin, the old me took control of my brain (quite easily I must admit), spun around … spouting the old joke of fixing the sentence with a comma and the word “@$$hole” … yes I said that. Eyes popped, laughter ensued and one commented, “I like the way you think!” hahahaha… O.o … Then the co-worker who sits behind me, who sees all the religious stuff I wear and have littered about my desk and walls said, “You are too funny. You have all these crosses and then you say something like that!”….

Poo.

Dagnabit. There she goes again. Rearing her ugly head. The old me.

I then had to explain to her (yes I did. I HAD to explain!!!) the old me. Who I once was and how she sometimes breaks free and just pops out of my mouth.

But really at this point I should have her in check. If I am serious about BEING a Catholic in word and deed I should NOT be spouting foul phrases…even though they are humorous… I should be THINNKING before I speak. I should be thinking… “Would Jesus like what I am about to say?” … um. Nope. But no. I am impulsive… ugh.

I need to control myself. 

Maybe that is what I should work on this year. I should try HARDER at BEING the Secular Franciscan I am supposed to be.

In a world where swearing is now the cool norm (I tried watching the hit comedy “The Heat” last night… had to turn it off… what utter rubbish!) … I need to be better than that… I do not need to be “cool” in that way anymore. I need to be cool… in a different way… wait… hm… do I even NEED to be cool anymore…? Huh. I personally think being Catholic is cool… but do I need to exude coolness at all? Do I care if I am cool? SHOULD I care if I am cool? … The simple answer: NO.I should be meek and humble …and kind amongst all the obnoxiousness of this world … that is true bravery. TRUE COOLNESS: To be courageous in my Catholic meekness… to be and live simple love and joy in a world gone mad… to not give in to obnoxious frivolity ….

Yup… that’s going to be hard. I will have to tie up the old me with a rosary …. Not literally of course…. But it might help 😉

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